2017-02-21 / Front Page

Cloverdale Legion Riders unite to journey for ‘God and country’

By Patricia Pair


The Cloverdale American Legion Riders 281 members are, from left, Terry Sutherlin, Vaughn Jenkinson, Chaplin Butch Jenkinson, Mary Sims, Phil Morgan, Ride Coordinator Shawn McCammack, Juanita Smith, Director Jake Day, Dale Smith, Scott Haywood, Chuck McCune, Chad Foster, Sergeant at Arms and Historian Buzz Hutcheson, Assistant Director Aaron Howard, Secretary and Membership Becca Day and Chris Wallace. Not pictured are Mike Hughes, Joe Silva and Treasurer Dana Howard. Photo by Patricia Pair The Cloverdale American Legion Riders 281 members are, from left, Terry Sutherlin, Vaughn Jenkinson, Chaplin Butch Jenkinson, Mary Sims, Phil Morgan, Ride Coordinator Shawn McCammack, Juanita Smith, Director Jake Day, Dale Smith, Scott Haywood, Chuck McCune, Chad Foster, Sergeant at Arms and Historian Buzz Hutcheson, Assistant Director Aaron Howard, Secretary and Membership Becca Day and Chris Wallace. Not pictured are Mike Hughes, Joe Silva and Treasurer Dana Howard. Photo by Patricia Pair The Cloverdale American Legion recently completed its Legionnaire family with the addition of an American Legion riders group. The Legion was presented with the Charter and the “Riders Response” on Saturday, Jan. 21.

The “Riders Response” reads, “We, your American Legion Riders, ride for God and country, the American Legion family and allied veterans everywhere. Protect those that protect us, amen.”

The “family” consists of The American Legion, The American Legion Auxiliary, The Sons of the American Legion and now The American Legion Riders. All are located at the Cloverdale American Legion Post 281, 501 S. Main Street.

American Legion Riders 281 Director Jake Day explains why the new group was started.

“We decided to form the group because there were no other riders groups close to us,” he said. “That and there seemed to be some interest (in forming the group).”

While American Legion posts in Brazil, Martinsville, Mooresville and Crawfordsville all have riders groups, Day pointed out that the Cloverdale post is “centrally located” to the area.

“There are younger Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans that are becoming members of groups like this,” Day said referring to the Cloverdale American Legion. “These younger vets ride motorcycles and want to do charity work.

“Our purpose is charity,” Day explained, “raising funds to give away. Our first priority is veterans and their families. We also support civil servants such as the police department, fire department, EMS workers and first responders.”

The Legion Riders raise those funds by organizing motorcycle rides.

“We charge a fee to go on the ride, which is open to the public,” he continued,

“The rides are usually 100 to 120 miles and we visit three to four other legion posts and other fun stops along the way. Then we come back here (the home post in Cloverdale) and have a meal and participate in raffles and drawings for prizes. We always try to make the route scenic. We have different routes to keep the rides interesting.”

Presently there are two such rides in the planning stages, The Firefighter Memorial Ride to benefit the Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Department and The Back The Blue ride, which will benefit the Cloverdale Police Department.

The Firefighter Memorial Ride is slated for June 10, with registration from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Cloverdale Hurst Collins American Legion, Post 281. The ride will begin at 11 a.m. and is open to the public for motorcycle riders and those wishing to volunteer their time to assist with the event. The entry fee is $20 per bike with an additional $5 fee for passengers.

The second ride is planned for July 15, with registration from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and start time is 11 a.m. The Back The Blue ride will last approximately four to four and a half hours, Day said, and will begin and end at Cloverdale Post 281.

Don’t have a bike but still want to help out the community? No problem. The Legion Riders, a non-profit organization, accepts monetary donations and volunteer help the day of a ride. For more information about the rides or to volunteer, call Day at 317- 361-6533.

Want to join the Cloverdale American Legion Riders Post 281? In order to join, a person must first be a member of the American Legion, meaning the person must qualify by either having served in the military during a time of conflict, Day explained, or by having a family member who served in the military during a time of conflict. If a person qualifies, then they can join the Legion and then join the American Legion Riders. The annual membership fee for the riders group is $20.

There is one thing Day wants the public to know about Legion Riders.

“We are not a motorcycle club,” he stressed. “It’s an extension of the American Legion. We’re here to support our community.” And sometimes that support can even come in the form of helping specific families with food during the holidays.

Day also has a message for motorists who might encounter the group while on a ride. “Please be patient when, say, the police are escorting us through towns,” he said. “There are people out there that we are helping. We are helping someone, and you never know when that someone might be you.”

Officers of the Cloverdale Legion Riders are Day, director; Aaron Howard, assistant director; Becca Day, secretary; Dana Howard, treasurer; Buzz Hutcheson, sergeant at arms; Shawn McCammack, ride coordinator; Becca Day, membership; Butch Jenkinson, chaplain, and Buzz Hutcheson, historian.

Charter members of the group include McCammack, Jake Day, Phil Morgan, Mary Sims, Mike Hughes, Becca Day, Scott Haywood, Juanita Smith, Chuck Mc- Cune, Vaughn Jenkinson, Terry Sutherlin, Joe Silva, Aaron Howard, Chad Foster, Chris Wallace, Dave Smith, Buzz Hutcheson and Butch Jenkinson.

For more information on the Cloverdale American Legion Riders Post 281, call 317-361-6533.

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