America Supports You: Motorcycle Club Rides for Servicemembers
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 20, 2006 The Blue Knights International Motorcycle Club is sponsoring a Purple Heart Ride April 23 to raise money for servicemembers and their families.
Members of the Maryland IX Chapter of the Blue Knights will be riding to the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., near the nation's capital, to demonstrate their support for members of the armed forces who have valiantly served the country and have been wounded, according to an Armed Forces Foundation news release. Money from the ride will go to the Armed Forces Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving quality of life for members of the armed forces.
The foundation is a member of the Defense Department's "America Supports You" program, which showcases efforts by Americans to support servicemembers and their families.
The Blue Knights is a nonprofit fraternal organization consisting of active and retired law enforcement men and women who enjoy riding motorcycles. As of 2004, the club had 524 chapters and almost 18,000 members from 23 countries.
The Blue Knights are expecting more than 250 participants in this year's ride, and more are always welcome, according to the news release. Registration will be held from 7 to 10 a.m. at Freedom Park, on Raincliffe Road in Sykesville, Md. At 10 a.m., the motorcyclists will get a safety briefing and a blessing of the bikes. The riders will depart from Freedom Park at 10:30 a.m., led by a full motorcycle police escort, for the naval medical center.
The riders are expected to arrive at Bethesda, where they will be greeted by wounded troops and their families staying at the facility, between 11:30 a.m. and noon, according to the news release.
Once the riders have parked their motorcycles, the Blue Knights will present Patricia Driscoll, president of the Armed Forces Foundation, with a donation of the proceeds from the ride. Following the presentation, the foundation will host a reception for the troops and riders.
The Blue Knights were able to raise more than $14,000 at last year's event, according to the news release.
"I am very touched and humbled by the patriotism and support offered by these police officers to our troops," Driscoll said.
(Based on an Armed Forces Foundation news release.)