Legion Riders aid local veterans with check presentation

Friday, June 24, 2022
(Photo Contributed) A group of American Legion Riders presented nine veterans with a gift of $500 each at a June 12 gathering at O’Toole Park in Le Mars. The gift was earmarked to help the veterans raise their service dogs, or for other needs.

LE MARS — The Northwest Iowa American Legion Riders reached out to several veterans with a gift of money Sunday afternoon, June 12.

The group gathered at O’Toole Park in Le Mars for their appreciation lunch and monthly meeting to make the presentation.

Legion Riders Director Doug Harms explained the donations from Sunday’s event.

“Last year, and again this year, the Legion Riders as a group, chose to give $500 to each one of our military vets in the area to help raise their service dogs, or whatever they feel they need that $500 for,” he said.

A total of nine veterans were given a $500 gift.

“This is just a little way of saying thank you for their service. Hopefully this money will help them with the bills to raise their dogs. This also is just one of the things we do to help our military vets and their families,” Harms said.

Harms continued that throughout the year, the group receives sponsorships from local and area businesses.

“All the money we get goes to our military veterans,” he said.

Membership Chair Gary Konz said there are seven veterans in the northwest Iowa region who have service dogs.

One of the group’s fundraisers is a Hotdog Feed held at TCC Verizon at 10 Fifth Ave. N.W., in Le Mars. That fundraiser will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6.

Harms said the group also donates to the veterans hospital, Freedom Quilts, and to the Wasmer Legion Post’s Shoe Party.

“We help veterans throughout the year, not just these service dogs,” he said.

The Legion Riders are regular participants in parades in the area, and have also taken part in welcome home ceremonies for the Midwest Honor Flights out of Sioux Falls.

According to its constitution’s preamble, the mission of the American Legion Riders Motorcycle Association N.W. Iowa Chapter, Post 241, is “To participate in parades and other ceremonies that are within the aims and purpose of the American Legion. To provide a social atmosphere for American Legion members and their families who share an interest in motorcycling. To promote motorcycle safety and support for other motorcycling organizations. To use our association to promote and support programs of the American Legion and our communities.”

To be eligible for membership, one must be a member in good standing of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, or the Sons of the American Legion and own a street legal motorcycle of at least 350cc, or be the spouse of an ALR member.

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