Huntington,WV(WOWK)- More than 100 motorcyclist gathered in Huntington Saturday morning for a ride to benefit disabled and fallen service members families, and they also met a true “American Hero” along the Way
Motorcyclist from around the Tri-State area brought their bikes, leather vests and American spirit to the Harley-Davidson shop in Huntington, for the first ever Parade of Honor.
“The turnout at this point is better than I thought it would be,” said Tom McCallister, rider for Parade of Honor.
The event was sponsored by Kindred Communications and Black Sheep Harley-Davidson, with registration proceeds going to Folds of Honor.
“The organization(Folds of Honor) gives out academic scholarships to family members of wounded and fallen service members,” said Nate Allen, organizer for Parade of Honor.
Allen who was one of the organizers of the event for Kindred, said the cause connects personally with him.
“My grandfather was a Marine in Vietnam, and my family has always been pro-military, pro veterans”.
The riders left the Harley-Davidson building in Huntington around noon, and headed out on a 50 mile round trip, with stops at Buffalo Wild Wings (Ironton, OH), Buffalo Wild Wings (Portsmouth, OH), Clark’s Pump-N Shop (Greenup, KY), and the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Northeast.
“Coming to the cemetery for the the program and the service we are going to have at the end of this ride, that alone should be worth the effort,” said McCallister.
At the cemetery riders had the opportunity to meet Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams.
He is the only surviving Marine to have received the Medal of Honor during World War II, and he was impressed with the turnout.
“For them to donate their time and use their own equipment to raise funds to assist someone else. . . that is the American way,” said Williams.
The event raised nearly $5,000 on Saturday thanks to a dollar for dollar match by Perry Distributors of Ironton and Hazard, and the Budweiser and Bud Light Distributors of Ashland, KY.
McCallister, Allen, and Williams said they hope it becomes an annual thing and more people get involved next year.
Since 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded nearly 20,000 educational scholarships.