Merry Christmas from Texas!
The holiday season has swept in again and it’s been a great time to wrap up tasks and enjoy the accomplishments of another year of diligent planning for coming events. Yes, I’m talking about May! Your SandBox Leadership Team has been preparing for the coming year in anticipation of a great Run on all the Routes, but especially focused on our Inaugural SandBox Route from DC to Marseilles. The motivated dedication of those leaders has never been more clearly demonstrated considering that very many of them are also involved in the planning and leadership of other routes leading into DC. Big shout-out here to our ARC, Ken “Six String” Dugas (MR RC) and our RGC, Don “10-A-SEE” King (MR ARGC) for your phenomenal dedication to the RFTW Mission and the future success of our SandBox Route!
Registration has now settled down and the SandBox Route remains at maximum fill. However, it’s more like a tide moving in and out than a steady sea state. Along with our RFTW Registrar, John “Wicked” McKee, I have been closely monitoring registration numbers and using the StandBy List to immediately fill slots as they open. Since the list was created early last month, we’ve been able to place 9 riders into the Route. As of right now, there are only 8 riders waiting to be placed from the list. With six months to go before KSU next May, I am confident that these folks will be placed into the Route as spots become available. That largely depends on the honest and timely notification from SandBox Registered Riders who may unfortunately find that they will not be able to make the Run. If you determine that you will not be able to make the Run, please contact the registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so that we may draw from the StandBy List to place riders in your open spot. Keep in mind that a NO SHOW for the Run may mean that a StandBy Rider will be left standing when the Run departs.
For more information and instructions about getting on the Standby List, see the November 2019 SandBox RC Newsletter at this link: SPECIAL REGISTRATION EDITION #3 – 08 NOV 2019
The 2020 SandBox Route is 99% complete thanks to the steadfast efforts of our Road Guard Captain, Don “10-A-SEE” King and our Pennsylvania State Coordinator, Tom “Kid” Schultz. Here’s the rest of the story… One of the most unpopular segments of the Recon Run was Hwy 30 through Pennsylvania. That segment was selected due to the extra coordination that would have been necessary to take the group onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike along I-70. Through exhaustive correspondence and coordination with the PA Turnpike Authority culminating in a face-to-face meeting to finalize the agreements just two weeks ago, 10-A-SEE and Kid have developed an approved plan to pass through the Turnpike with full support of the PA Turnpike Authority and PA State Police! The details of the plan will be very explicitly briefed to our riders before making that passage due to the strict safety and administrative concerns for the operation. But that doesn’t mean it will be difficult, just well defined. It’s nothing that this awesome group of SandBox Riders can’t handle!
Team Leader Highlight – Dave “Double-D” Davies, Outreach Team Leader
Dave “Double-D” Davies is a Great American and Patriotic Rider from Oakland, California. He has made 4 ATW Runs with the Southern Route and most recently served on my SR Leadership Support Team as FNG Liaison and Admin Assistant on RFTW XXXI. Double-D became involved in Military Veterans causes after the loss of a close friend to combat action in Iraq in 2003. Since then, he has maintained a close supportive relationship with that friend’s family. Since then, he has chaired a committee that hosts a Military Fund Raising Event which over the past 13 years of his leadership has raised over $350,000. He also maintains a very strong supporting relationship with the Gold Star Foundation in northern California. When I speak of a Middle East Conflict Affected Person, you should picture Dave Davies. On the SandBox Route this year, Dave will lead an Outreach Team of three who are already contacting Gold Star and Veterans Groups to coordinate their attendance and participation at our stops along the way. Dave’s selfless dedication to the RFTW Mission, the riders and the people we contact along the way exemplifies the motto of Mission > Self. Look for Dave and his team wearing Green Hats on the SandBox Route and let them know you appreciate them.
Hotel List Publication
The SandBox Route Hotel List is nearly complete and will be published along with all the other Routes on 01 JAN 2020. It has been reported that some folks are already trying to claim an RFTW rate ahead of the hotel list release and are experiencing resistance – those rates don’t go into effect until after the List is released. Keep in mind that whatever the circumstance, if you invoke the RFTW name, then you are representing the organization in some form – please be a good representative. Our continued participation at some excellent hotel properties and even our passage through some municipal areas can be drastically altered by the harmful actions of just one person – please don’t be that person.
New for 2020, the SandBox Route will have an Itinerary Book published with useful information about schedules, routes, contacts and points of interest for the Route. It will be published in early Spring at the same time as the other Routes publish. However, since the route selection is new for SandBox this year, I will publish the actual Route and Timing cards early next year so that our Riders can get a look at the path we’ll be taking.
Platoon Make-up and Assignments
If you are a Platoon Rider, you’ve likely already received a contact from Paul “G-Rex” Steigleder, our Platoon Coordinator. We’ll be running 7 platoons on this inaugural run as you may have noted on the SandBox Route Contact List. There, you can also view the Platoon Leadership assignments. Please reply to G-Rex with your preference for Platoon Assignment if you have one. We’re working toward pre-coordinating Platoon assignments and other administrative aspects of the Route as best we can to mitigate time constraints after we arrive in DC prior to departure.
The Christmas and New Year holidays almost always provide opportunity for a joyous time spent with family and friends. Almost always… As we all know, the Middle East Conflicts continue and many of our best and brightest are standing the watch, every day and every hour. As you give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy in this great nation, please remember to also give thanks for the service member who is sacrificing time with family to stand that watch.
Merry Christmas Gonzo!
Very best regards,
Billie “Bugs” Dunlap
SandBox Route Coordinator
Run For The Wall XXXII