On Friday, the second-annual Kansas Freedom Ride will be held across Kansas. The annual event is intended to recognize Armed Forces Day and honor those who serve whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve for their service and defending our freedom.
This year we are riding to benefit a young soldier who lost both legs to an improvised-explosive device attack in Afghanistan in 2008, Ret. Sgt. Ryan Newell of Marion. The Rally Ride Newell is being sponsored by American Legion Riders 9 in Garden City and being held in association with the American Legion Riders in Garden City, Larned and Great Bend.
The Ride is scheduled to leave Garden City promptly at 11 a.m. Friday and travel to the Veterans Memorial on Main Street in Jetmore. The Ride leaves Jetmore at noon and continues to Larned with a stop at the Kwik Shop at 1323 Broadway.
Riders will depart Larned at 1:30 p.m. and make their way to Great Bend where they will join other riders at the Eagles parking Lot at 10th and Main before the group heads to the final destination point of Marquette. Water and snacks will be available for riders at Great Bend, provided by ALR 180, Great Bend, before the last leg of the run.
The Ride is free to anyone who wants to join and show their support. For a minimum $20 donation, registered riders will receive a patch, rocker and prize entry for drawings. Riders may register at any point along the route or May 21, Armed Forces Day, at Marquette.
From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, the group will host a booth at the Thunder on the Smoky Motorcycle Rally at Marquette and accept registrations, donations and have various items including T-shirts available to raise money for Sgt. Newell and his family.
The Thunder on the Smoky Rally is an annual event which takes place to benefit the Kansas Motorcycle Museum at Marquette. The Rally features live music, vendors, motorcycle games, a bike show and more. Several thousand motorcyclists are expected to attend. Last year, over 60 riders participated in the first Freedom Ride, but event planners are expecting even more riders and a great benefit Run for Newell and his family.
For more information, contact Jacque Sherrill at 620-357-1124 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.