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007 ALR rodeo 2016x800On Saturday, April 30, 2016, the American Legion Riders 5th District of Georgia held their first annual Motorcycle Rodeo. The event, hosted by the American Legion at Post 111 in Dallas, was a motorcycle skills competition designed to improve rider skills and build confidence in maneuvering road hazards. There were three timed events including off-set cones, a cone weave and a double 360 along with three fun events. Any current American Legion Rider in the 5th District of Georgia was eligible to compete in the Bike Rodeo.
Members of the American Legion Riders Post 111 handcrafted a unique powder-coated and diamond plated trophy that will be retained by the winning Post until next year’s competition. Further, each Post who entered the competition selected Veteran’s charities for their team members to compete for. Event proceeds would then be donated to winner’s choice of charities. 002 ALR rodeo 2016x800
The event winner was John Cagle, President of the American Legion Riders Post 111, who selected donations to be made to Operation Comfort Warriors and Fishing for Freedom on behalf of Post 111. Pictured above from left to right are John Cagle; his wife, Beth Cagle; and James Foy, Event Director and Senior Vice Commander, American Legion Post 111.
The American Legion Riders are a national program of the American Legion. They promote the programs and goals of the American Legion in their community, state and nation. Members are supported by a Post or Department of the American Legion and consist of current members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of the American Legion (SAL). The organization is known for their charitable work which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for veterans, service members and their families, veterans’ homes, children, schools, hospitals and members of local communities. The American Legion Riders are said to be the most visible group of the American Legion. They are often seen by the public assisting at parades, funerals, memorial ceremonies and services, as well as on rides to honor fallen military members or to raise funds for those in need. Further, they provide escorts to departing or returning military units. 001 ALR rodeo 2016x800
The organization traces its roots to 1993 when two members of the American Legion Post 396 in Garden City, Michigan desired to create group for motorcycle enthusiasts within the existing organization. Upon gaining approval, the “American Legion Riders” organization was established. Soon the founding members, Chuck “Tramp” Dare and Bill “Polka” Kaledas became a central resource for other American Legion Posts. They ensured that the groups were established as Legionnaires, Auxiliary or SAL members, joining to ride as Legion Family.
Today the organization has grown to over a thousand chapters in the United States and in at least three foreign countries. Several groups were spawned from the American Legion Riders, such as the Five Star Freedom Riders as well as the Patriot Guard. Further information about the American Legion Riders in general can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhoQOWD0O7Y&feature=youtu.be.
Membership in the American Legion is open to eligible war era veterans and their family members. To learn more about Post 111 in Dallas, at 2587 Scoggins Road you may contact the Post at (770)445-2759. Look for upcoming American Legion Rider Events at Post 111 on Facebook.010 ALR rodeo 2016x800

Photo credit: Stacey Sargent