By Brenda L. Holmes
The American Legion Riders from four posts have come together to host the third annual Susie’s Place Charity Ride this weekend.
Last year, Avon American Legion Post 145 jumped in to implement the ride, which ended up welcoming 100 motorcyclists and raising money for Susie’s Place, Hendricks County’s child advocacy center.
Susie’s Place is staffed with trained forensic interviewers that assist law enforcement and Child Protective Services by providing a child-friendly place to interview children who may have experienced some sort of abuse/trauma.
“I’m just so excited that we went from one Legion last year to four this year,” said organizer Linda Cook, an American Legion Rider with Danville Post 118.
Jumping on board to help plan this year are Jim and Cheri Allen from Wayne Post 64, and Rick Haberman from Plainfield Post 324.
Cook was one of the major organizers from last year. This year she is co-chairing with Bob Mullins, a member of the Avon American Legion Post 145. Jason Curran, who is also from the Avon post, is also helping to prepare for the ride.
“Getting Ricky involved has been instrumental to getting more Legions involved,” Cook said. “He’s the communications person for the state organization.”
Haberman has helped promote the event within the Legion organization and by creating promotional materials.
“It’s important to get it out on the web so more people know about it,” Haberman said. “We’re heading to the state meeting today and will be talking about the ride with as many people as we can. The state chapter has 3,000 members in 110 different chapters. I’m sure we can get a few more of them to come next week.”
Mullins said getting more area Legions involved has helped them to raise more funds ahead of time, as well as to prepare for more riders.
“I think we’re going to blow that 100 riders from last year away,” Mullins said. “The nicest part is seeing all the chapters banning together to make a local event like this go off. They all just jumped in.”
WFMS will be broadcasting from Emmy’s Original Pancake House & Grill starting at 9 a.m. on the day of the ride.
“We will also have a live DJ when we are at Emmy’s and when we arrive back at the Avon post,” Mullins said.
The Susie’s Place Charity Ride was originally organized by volunteers from the Hendricks County Communications Center, so they were able to get local law enforcement involved.
“And we have to give kudos to the Sheriff’s Department for staying on board and giving us an escort to make this ride safe for the riders,” Cook said.
The sheriff’s department coordinates the escort with the Plainfield and Brownsburg police departments.
“And the fire department in North Salem was great last year and we will be stopping there again this year,” Cook added.
In 2011, the Eel River Township Volunteer Fire Department offered its facility as a stop for the riders to get some cold water and rest in the air-conditioning.
“Last year it was like 90 degrees the day of the ride,” Cook said. “They had tubs of water chilled with ice and opened up their facility, which was air conditioned.”
She said the riders offered the volunteer department a donation for the rest stop.
“But they didn’t want the money, so it went to Susie’s Place,” Cook said. “I think that says a lot for a volunteer department. They really took great care of us.”
Volunteers from One Brick, headed up by Dana Potts, will be at the end of the ride helping to serve lunch.
Other organizations helping to sponsor the event are Allen and Scott Landscaping and Splash Pools in Avon.
Riders will be ending the ride at the Avon American Legion Post.
The ride is $25 per rider and $15 per passenger. The registration fee includes coffee and juice, T-shirts, a door prize ticket per bike, a cookout lunch, and the 65-mile escorted ride.
Registration is from 8 to 10 a.m. July 21 in front of Emmy’s Original Pancake House in the Beechwood Center in Avon. Emmy’s is providing the coffee and orange juice for the riders.
For more information, visit the Susie’s Place website at www.susiesplace.org or call Cook at 417-2894.
Just the facts
WHAT: Susie’s Place Charity Ride
WHEN: 8 to 10 a.m. July 21
WHERE: Emmy’s Original Pancake House & Grill in Avon