Fundraiser slated for next week

Published 9:44 am Monday, July 14, 2014

I am sending this letter to the editor in support of a fundraiser for the 2014 Nation of Patriots Tour which  has been underway since Memorial Day.

I would like to invite folks to come and support this fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. next Monday at  Pizza Ranch in Albert Lea’s Northbridge Mall. We have teamed up with Pizza Ranch to support the Nation of Patriots. Albert Lea chapter of the Harley Owner’s Group will be working at the event and Pizza Ranch has agreed to donate 10 percent of the proceeds from this night’s sales to the Nation of Patriots. All folks have to do is attend and have supper that evening to support this worthy cause.

This is our fifth year working with the Nation of Patriots. This nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation is totally operated by volunteer help from the director to the volunteers supporting it. One hundred percent of the money earned goes directly to support veterans’ needs.

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We are proud to have been the second largest group in the nation the past two years.  The Nation of Patriots starts annually on Memorial Day. They receive a flag flown in combat and begin the motorcycle escort of the flag in Wisconsin and travel for 100 days throughout the lower 48 states.

The tour is to honor the American flag, what it stands for and to honor the American veterans who have supported and died for this flag. During the year, we seek assistance from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and veterans service groups to identify candidates we can assist. The veteran chosen is someone who has been combat injured and has needs unmet by other benefits.

In 2012 we were able to present a check to a soldier who had been blown up by a roadside bomb. Last year, we presented a check to  a soldier from Glenville who had been injured in Iraq. The process to identify this year’s recipient(s) is currently underway.

Our fundraiser was started this year by a donation from the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon project, whose mission is also to assist veterans. To meet our goals and provide assistance to local veterans, we encourage the public to come out to our fundraiser and support this event.

Our mission with the flag escort will also begin on Aug. 26. A flag escort from Eden Prairie will bring the flag to Bergdale Harley Davidson between 12:30 and 1 p.m. A ceremony passing the flag will be conducted and is open to the public.

On Aug. 27, we will assemble motorcycle riders between 8 and 9 a.m. for our leg of the flag escort. We will depart for Waukon, Iowa, at 9 a.m. This is also open to the public to attend and participation by all riders on the escort is encouraged.

Mark Harig

Albert Lea chapter

Harley Owner’s Group