Three Vermont Legion riders help raise funds for kidsBy Cristina Kumka
STAFF WRITER | September 26,2012PHOTO SUBMITTED
Hundreds of American Legion riders, including three Vermonters, rode from Niagara Falls, N.Y. to Indianapolis this summer as part of the Legacy Run, which helped raise $700,000 - and counting - in 2012 for children of fallen soldiers.Three motorcycle riders from Vermont American Legion posts participated in the “Legacy Run” spanning the country that raised more than $700,000 in scholarships for college students who are children of soldiers who died in the wars following Sept. 11, 2001.
Janet Pringle, Rutland Middle School English teacher, Keith Arlund, town manager of Brandon and head of a group of motorcycle riders from Brandon Post 55 and Hugo DiNunzio from Colchester Post 91 made the 750-mile ride from Niagara Falls, N.Y. to Indianapolis, Ind. in August with about 700 other American Legion riders from across the country and the world.
Every state in the nation was represented.
Indianapolis is the home of the Legion headquarters and the fundraising goal was announced during a convention at the end of this year’s run.
Earlier in the year, the riders picked the charity that would be this year’s beneficiary of the American Legion Legacy National Fund.
This year it was for children of fallen soldiers and a total of $700,000 has been raised since the start of 2012, Arlund said. Of that total, $250,000 of that came from Legion posts that the riders stopped at during the three-day tour.
Members of the Rutland City Public School district also donated.
In total, over the last seven years of the run, the Legion riders have raised close to $7 million, according to Arlund.
“People gave donations all along the way,” Arlund said. “Veterans and their families and children are the Legion’s top priorities.”
“It was a privilege for me to do it,” he said.
While Arlund is not aware of any Vermont children who are beneficiaries of the fund, anyone can go to legion.org for more information about it.
“Only in America can you be a part of something so big, so patriotic and so selfless, while still doing something you love so much,” Pringle said.
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