By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
VAC Superintendent Robert Ryder with members of the American Legion Riders.


On Wednesday, Dec. 5, a group of motorcycle riders descended on the Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) of Boone County. Sporting their leathers and badges, many of these riders are Veterans themselves or are closely related to Veterans.

They contacted VAC superintendent Robert Ryder and asked him what was needed. “Gift cards,” he said.

The VAC, by law, is not allowed to pay for gas to help Veterans go to job interviews, visit their family, see their doctor, or go to the grocery store. Gift cards could be used to fill that need.

The American Legion Riders, as a group, was chartered in July 2017. They have held a couple of fundraisers and are now able to give back to the community. When they arrived at the VAC, they carried $500 in gift cards with them to help area Veterans with an unfilled need.

The group included Navy Veteran Al Cartwright, post Rider and chaplain; Judy Webb Rider and auxiliary member; Cheryl Platt; Mary Brubach, treasurer; and Bud Carolfi, Navy Veteran and sergeant at arms.

95 percent of the American Legion Riders are Veterans themselves. To become a member of the ALR, you must first become a member of the American Legion or the Legion Auxiliary. You must have a child, father/mother, grandfather, great-grandfather, or spouse who is a Veteran or an active military service member and you need to own a motorcycle.

“We want to promote awareness of active service people and Veterans,” said Mary Brubach. “We want to help the community as a whole. Our ride this summer raised $2000. That money went to help…

For complete article, pick up the Dec. 20 Belvidere Republican.

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