American Legion, Harley dealer raising money for wounded soldiers

2012-05-06T21:00:00Z 2012-05-07T00:00:13Z American Legion, Harley dealer raising money for wounded soldiersBy ZACH BENOIT The Billings Gazette

American Legion Post No. 4 in Billings and Beartooth Harley-Davidson/Buell have teamed up to hold a motorcycle ride and concert later this month to benefit a program that helps injured military veterans.

Called the Freedom Ride and Freedom Jam, the event begins at 1 p.m. May 19 — Armed Forces Day — at Beartooth Harley, 6900 S. Frontage Road. The event will raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.

“It’s for a very important cause,” said one of the event’s organizers, Maria Rivera, who is the American Legion post’s director of club operations. “It’s important to recognize them no just one day, but every day. You can make the best of it by helping your fellow veterans.”

The day begins with a ride from Billings to the Harley dealership in Red Lodge for refreshments. Afterward, the group will ride back and stop for a short time of reflection before parading back into town.

It will continue at the Legion post, 1540 Broadwater Ave., where John Buck and Reckless will perform and the groups will provide dinner.

Collette Haun, Beartooth’s marketing and events director, is helping organize the event and has a son serving in the U.S. Army. She said he has two friends who’ve died and numerous others who’ve been injured.

“When you meet these guys and you see what they’ve given and what they’ve given up, how it affects families, if there’s anything we can do to help, we’re going to step up,” she said.

Haun and Rivera both said the ultimate goal is to raise awareness for programs like the Wounded Warrior Project and for service members.

The benefit is open to the public. Tickets cost $30 per rider and $10 per passenger. For those wishing to just attend the concert, tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

For more information or to volunteer, call Rivera at 656-1510 or Haun at 252-2888.



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