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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – Jan 2021

Happy New Year Midway family!

I hope you had a nice New Year’s waving 2020 behind us. I wish you all a happy and blessed 2021!

I can’t help but have a sense of hope and excitement as we look forward to 2021 and see how many people have made their hotel reservations for our Run for the Wall mission. I have heard nothing but positive feedback about everyone’s hotel reservation experiences. I thank you all for your patience and professional representation of RFTW in dealing with the hotel’s staff. We are off to a great start to 2021 and we are working hard to finalize our route plans. This is the time of the year where our State Coordinators and their Assistants really start to finalize all the details for our route. I want to once again, express my appreciation to them and everyone for the work they do to make our mission a success.

Speaking of work, I want to remind everyone that we are having a zoom meeting to kick off our plans for the Feb. 20th fundraiser I have been telling you about. We are looking for people to help us obtain and collect pledges for this. We are having a Zoom video conference meeting tomorrow night (Monday 1/4/21) at 7:00pm central time. I invite anyone who would like to find out more about this or is willing to help to please join us for the meeting. The link for the meeting is listed below:
Run for the Wall is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: RFTW Midway fundraiser Zoom Meeting
Time: Jan 4, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/91930652782
Meeting ID: 919 3065 2782
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,91930652782# US (New York)
+13017158592,,91930652782# US (Washington D.C)

It is time to get busy and make Midway 2021 happen!

Thank you and Happy New Year,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Route Coordinator, Midway 2020-2021

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Midway Route Coordinator- Newsletter- Dec 2020 #3

Hello Midway family!!!!

I hope you all had a blessed and merry Christmas and are looking forward to our 2021 Run for the Wall mission. Planning for our 2021 Midway route has been going on all year long and I am ready for us to get on the bikes and ride. It has been way too long!

I am sending this newsletter out to let everyone know that the Board of Directors will be publishing the hotel lists on our RFTW.US website for all routes on January 1st, 2021. Please be advised that all of the hotels have been instructed to not take any reservations on the Run for the Wall block of rooms until January 1st. I ask that when calling the hotels, you remember that you are representing RFTW. Please be patient and kind to the hotel workers. This should go without saying. However, every year, we seem to have a few issues come up concerning this. Remember that it has taken years of work for our hotel and state coordinators to develop good relationships with these people. One bad apple can destroy all of that work with one bad experience. I greatly appreciate everyone being good ambassadors for Run for the Wall. Remember, it should always be “mission before self”. Should you have any issues with a hotel, please contact me and I will have our Hotel Coordinator do his best to resolve any issues you may have. I want to personally and publicly thank our ARC, Jerry Wilkins, who is also our Hotel Coordinator, for all of the hard work he has done to get the hotels lined up for us. Fantastic job Jerry!

Speaking of hotels, I am excited to announce that we will hold the hotel raffle fundraiser again for 2021. It starts now and is something I think everyone will like and I hope will participate and support.  Many people want to donate to RFTW.  This is a way that you can do that and get something in return.  Except for Ontario and Arlington, this fundraiser will pay for your hotels across the country!  The estimate for the hotel cost came out to be approximately $1,000.00, so the prize for this raffle will be $1,000.00!  Tam Tam Rickerson won our 1st hotel raffle for 2020. Even though the route was cancelled, she won the $1,000 prize! Wouldn’t it be nice to have your hotel costs covered?  The cost per ticket is $10.00 or you can purchase 10 tickets for $50.00!  If you purchase $100.00 worth, you will get 25 tickets.  All money made from this raffle will be used for our Midway route and will help cover some fuel cost for our riders!  If you purchase 10 tickets or more before the end of February, you will receive 2 extra tickets (per 10) for free.  I ask that you support this if you are able.  The raffle tickets will be given to you in Ontario and the drawing will be in Hopewell, VA. 

If you would like to purchase Hotel Raffle tickets, please make check out to RFTW and send to:
Ken Dugas
9849 Loblolly Pines Lane
Denham Springs, La. 70726

You may also electronically send the money through Zelle.  Use my phone 225-405-2735.  Please send me an email at ken.dugas@rftw.us to let me know if you are sending money to me.

Our State Coordinators and our Promotion team continue to work on donations and fundraising.   I really appreciate everyone’s efforts!  I want to have all the fuel for our route donated or prepaid for our riders.  It makes our fuel stops very efficient and is nice for our riders, especially in these difficult times. We cannot do this without good participation and support for our fundraisers. I thank you all in advance.

I am so excited that plans for our route are progressing well. We still have several stops to get finalized, but that is understandable with our State Coordinators having to deal with the Covid restrictions some people are dealing with. I hope to have our route finalized before too long. I will do my best to keep everyone updated. Thanks to all of our State Coordinators and their assistants for all the work they do all year long for us.

Santa brought “High Maintenance” a new back rest for her Freewheeler. I just installed it and she loves it. Remember that it is not too early to start thinking about preparing your bikes for our journey.

Have I told you lately?…………. I love my Midway family!

Is it May yet?

Honor, Hope & Healing

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Route Coordinator, Midway 2020-2021

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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter – Dec 2020 #3


Dear Midway Family,

I apologize, but I am needing to send another newsletter to address a change of plans for our fundraiser zoom meeting that was scheduled for Monday Dec. 21st. It was brought to my attention that the 21st is the night that the planets will be aligned to create the Christmas star. This will be a once in a lifetime event for us to see. Many people also have Holiday plans that conflict with the meeting schedule. After discussing with our fundraiser team, it has been decided that it would be better to reschedule the meeting after the 1st of the year. Therefore, we have rescheduled the meeting for Monday, January 4th at 7:00pm central time. We need help for this fundraiser! If you are interested in learning more about the fundraiser and/or will help us with this, please send me your email address and I will send you the zoom meeting invitation. My email is ken.dugas@rftw.us. Even if you sent a reply already, I ask that you please send another email so I have an updated list for the Jan 4th meeting.

To recap the fundraiser event: We will be treating up to 100 bikes with an acrylic coating for free! We will make money by collecting pledges based on how many bikes we apply the coating to. We need volunteers to help us get pledges and collect them. Anyone with RFTW can help with this because no matter where you live, you can collect the pledges for us. People will be able to pledge as little as $.10 (ten cents) per bike or $10.00. A pledge sheet will be provided that will have places for people to pledge in increments of $.10, $.25, $.50, $1.00 or more per bike. It is easy to see that the more people we have obtaining pledges, the more money we will be able to raise for our route and our mission. Our goal is to have a minimum of 25 people getting 25 pledges. A minimum of $0.10 pledged per bike, would raise $6,250.00 for Midway. You can do the math and see how much more we could raise with more people participating and pledging more than $0.10 per bike. This could be a BIG fundraiser for us and would only require a little effort and small donations being given by many people.

As you can imagine, this Covid pandemic situation has created unique challenges for me and our State Coordinators. Having a good fundraiser would help tremendously by allowing us to possibly help the people who have supported and hosted us over the years that may not have the funds to do so in 2021. It will also help us with fuel donations, charitable donations and other route costs. Midway has always been a route that feels like family. We work together to find solutions and overcome our challenges. We make a great team and I know, working together, we will make our 2021 RFTW run a success!

Thank you for your consideration and support.

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Sincerely,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Route Coordinator, Midway 2020-2021

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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter – Dec 2020 – #2

Greetings RFTW Midway family!

Our 2021 planning is coming along well. We have completed the hotel and camping lists and the BOD will have the lists posted on January 1st.

All the pieces are coming together for what we hope to be our big fundraiser for 2021. We need help for this. No matter where you live, you can help! Our biggest need is getting volunteers to obtain and collect pledges for our 100 bike “White Glass” acrylic coat application fundraiser. A Zoom video conference meeting will be held Monday December 21st at 7:00 pm central time. We will give an overview of our plans and answer questions. If you are interested in finding out more information or are willing to help, please send me an email (ken.dugas@rftw.us) with your name, phone number and email address and I will email the meeting invite to you. a little help from a lot of people will go a long way in making this successful. We are hoping to raise money that can be used for our route’s needs, donations and fuel as we travel through all the states on our route.

If I do not see you on the meeting, I want to take the opportunity now to wish you and your families a blessed and very Merry Christmas season.

Is it May yet?

Honor, Hope & Healing

Sincerely,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator 2020-2021

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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter – Dec. 2020

Video section

Greetings RFTW from a cold south Louisiana!

As always, I hope you are all doing well and are healthy. I know some of our RFTW family are going through rough times. With their permission, I have some bad news to share with all of you concerning a couple of our Midway family members. Papa Mike Cash has had a BIG setback in his recovery from his accident. He was making progress and even beginning to ride his bike again. Well, his hand has rejected the repairs and he is having to start from scratch again. Several more complicated surgeries will be needed to repair his hand, if it is even possible. Tamara “Tam Tam” and Steve “Hot tub” Rickerson will not be joining us on 2021 due to Steve’s poor health. I want to thank all of them for their years of support and service to our RFTW mission. They will be missed. This is a very difficult time for our friends. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I know you all join me in wishing them a full recovery and the strength to get through this difficult time.

I would like to thank Lane “Hopper” Flynn for accepting the Promotions Team Leader position to fill Tam Tam’s vacancy. No one can replace Tam Tam but I know Lane will do a great job for us and I hope you all join me in congratulating her and welcoming her to our Midway leadership team.

Missing Man Honor Mat

In my last newsletter, I wrote that I would be sharing some information concerning our Missing Man formation. Here it is. I am excited to announce that Midway will be adding a “Missing Man Honor Mat” to our missing man formation. This is an example of how all the routes working together can make our mission better. Central route brought this concept to the Sandbox recon route. When I saw this, I knew I had to bring this to Midway. I want to thank Mona “Louise” and my wife, Denise “High Maintenance” for designing and putting this together. Also, thanks to Stich-N-Bitch for doing the embordering for us. Once again, I am so grateful and appreciative of the team we have on Midway. We get so much done working as a team! I will present this “Honor Mat” to Sue “Odds” Chapin, our missing man coordinator, to place in the missing man position at every stop we make. Our missing man riders will be able to put pictures and/or bios of the person they are riding for in the clear pouch on the mat. Everyone who walks by the missing man formation will be able to see and read about the person being ridden for and make the missing man formation more identifiable. WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

I would like to encourage all of our riders to read all of the RC’s newsletters. There is good information about what is going on with RFTW even if you are not on those particular routes. The other routes have excellent Route Coordinators and we can all learn more from each other. We are better when we work together.

Details are being finalized for our “Hawgwash” fundraiser. More information to kickoff this fundraiser coming soon. I hope that you will all consider participating and helping us with this effort to raise money for our route.

The Dugas Family

I want to once again, thank everyone on our teams helping to put our 2021 route together. I am looking forward to RFTW 2021 and seeing all of you soon.

Wishing all my RFTW family a Blessed and Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Have I told you lately?……………I love my RFTW family!

Sincerely,
Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator 2020-2021

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Midway Route Coordinator -Newsletter – Nov 2020

Greetings RFTW family!

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I know 2020 has been a year filled with problems, challenges and difficulties.   However, I still have so much to be thankful for and my Run for the Wall family is one of those things.   I miss seeing you all and am looking forward to getting back together with everyone again in May.  It has been way too long!   Our Midway team members are working hard on our 2021 route plans.  I thank all of them for their hard work and dedication to our RFTW Midway route.

I apologize for being late getting this newsletter out.  I was waiting on some information to share. Unfortunately, I still have not been able to confirm everything.  It is concerning a fundraiser sponsored by Hawgwash.  We will move forward with this, but all the details are not confirmed as of this time.   The Covid shutdowns are really hurting a lot of people.  I was just notified that we have lost more financial support.  This time from a VFW post.  They support our mission but just do not have the extra funds to provide for us for 2021.  I also know that a few of our long-time riders may not have the financial resources to make the Run.   This fundraiser will allow people from all over the country to support our route by pledging as little as ten cents ($0.10)  per bike  (Max 100 bikes) treated by Hawgwash’s acrylic coating. I am trying to get a list of people who would be willing to get pledges for us. If you are interested in helping with this, please let me know.  Hawgwash will supply the materials and treat the bikes for free!  This “pledging” fundraiser would only ask people to donate as little as $10.00 but the number of pledges could raise significant money for our route. This fundraiser would allow more people to donate a little, rather than a few having to donate larger amounts.   I am focusing on this fundraiser to allow us to put our route in a position to help our supports who want to host us but do not have the funds.  We may be able to help them help us by contributing to the cost of hosting us.  The more we can raise, the more people we can help.  I also want to be able to have the route pay as many fuel stops as possible to help the riders who are on tight budgets.  More details on this fundraiser will be coming soon. I would appreciate any support we can get for this.

I am also focusing on bringing more attention and something new to our missing man formation.  I am excited to share more information about this in my next month’s newsletter.  We will never forget what this mission is about!  This addition to our missing man formation will make sure of that.

Remember, it is never too early to start preparing for your Run across our great country.  Throttle control is key to riding in a pack of 100s of bikes.  Steady speed with slow, smooth adjustments is an essential skill for this route.  Also, do not forget to practice using your gears to slow your bike down instead of your brakes!  Maintaining consistent distances in the pack and avoiding the “yo-yo” nightmares are key to the safety of our route.  Our goal is to always complete our mission with zero incidents.  Everyone needs to do their part to make this happen.  Practice, practice, practice!  The better your skills, the safer our route can be.  I am very proud of our safety record on Midway.  Let’s make sure we keep it that way.

Another thing that I am Thankful for:  Thank you to all our men and women who are serving or have served, and to their families for their support and sacrifices.  Also…… we will never forget those who have paid the ultimate price for our country.  THANK YOU!

Have I told you all lately?…………… I love my RFTW family!

Honor, Hope & Healing

Sincerely,
Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator, 2020-2021

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Midway Route Coordinator- Newsletter – Oct 2020

Greetings RFTW family!

I write this newsletter today as we prepare for Hurricane Delta to hit us here in Louisiana later today. I hope this letter finds you all well and safe and I pray that all in harms way of this hurricane stay safe and free from any damages.

I would like to begin by thanking Cowboy, Sam, Bob and all those involved in putting together the Kerrville, TX reunion. It was a fantastic reunion and it was great to be back with RFTW family.

The Covid-19 shutdowns have taken its toll on another one of our hosts. The Quality Inn in Flagstaff is permanently closed. We are working on finding a new host hotel for Flagstaff. Duke City Harley Davidson in Albuquerque has also closed its doors. However, The ownership will still host us at Thunderbird Harley Davidson and we have obtained LEO support for this change. Our fantastic State Coordinators and their Assist. SCs are working hard for us. It is challenging times for them and I am so appreciative for all of their efforts. We currently have confirmed 25 of our stops and 4 of our 8 night stops (Not counting Ontario and Arlington) have confirmed, signed agreements with our host hotels. Our amazing , “does it all ARC”, Jerry Wilkins is doing a great job coordinating the hotels and working with our State Coordinators.

Congratulations to Richard “Bam Bam” House, our SC State Coordinator, and his wife Christina on the birth of their new baby boy, Coulson! What a beautiful family.

I hope that you all are able to enjoy some nice riding these days. I cannot wait for us all to get back together again.

Is it May yet?

Honor, Hope & Healing

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Route Coordinator – Midway 2020-2021

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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter – Sept. 2020

Greetings RFTW Family!

The Kerrville reunion is right around the corner.  I am looking forward to being with our RFTW family again!  The reunion is September 25-27.  It is always a great reunion and I hope to see many of you there.

Midway has a new Assistant State Coordinator for North Carolina.  Gary “Chief” Whaley has agreed to accept this position and I am so grateful to have him on our team. I thank him for volunteering for this important position.   North Carolina has always been a challenging state for us because our route spends three days in this state.  Bam Bam, Hawk and Goodwrench have always done a great job in North Carolina and I know Gary will be a great addition.  Our State Coordinators are so critical to our mission and I thank all of them for everything they do for us.  2021 will be challenging for them.  The Covid-19 restrictions and shutdowns have caused many businesses to go out of business.  Our State Coordinators will have their hands full contacting everyone to see if they will be able to support our mission for 2021 and find alternative supporters and hosts when needed.  Thank you, State Coordinators!!!!

All our Team Leaders will be working on filing their teams.  Some Leadership positions will be setting up hotels, camp sites, planning our routes, coordinating with Law Enforcement, setting up fuel stops, preparing for registration, chase trucks, hydration, fund raising, etc….  It takes work by many people all year long to make our RFTW mission successful.  I thank all our leadership and support people for everything they do.  Working as a team is what makes our route successful. Thank you!

I am still working on wrapping up a few things from our 2020 plans.  I look forward to continuing making progress for our 2021 route and will keep you updated as we move forward to completing RFTW XXXII.

Registration for 2021 is open.  Remember, if you were registered for 2020, your registration has been forwarded to 2021.  If you cannot make 2021 please make sure you cancel your registration.  If you are not registered and plan to join us for 2021, please do so ASAP.  Knowing how many to expect on the route really does help our planning.

Have I told you lately?……….. I love my RFTW family!

Is it May yet?
Honor * Hope * Healing

Respectfully,
Ken “Six String” Dugas

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – August 2020

Greetings RFTW Family!

I would like to congratulate Mark “Mazz” Masman for his unanimous confirmation by the BOD as our new Oklahoma State Coordinator.  Thank you “Mazz” for volunteering for this very important position.  I know you will do an excellent job representing our mission.   Dennis “Okie-D” Freie has done a remarkable job as our Oklahoma State Coordinator and has taken on this responsibility since the start of our Midway route. He will act as Mentor for our 2021 mission as needed.  Thank you Okie-D for your support and dedication to our RFTW mission and our Midway Route.  We will always be grateful for all you have done!

Registration for our 2021 RFTW mission is now open!  If you were registered for 2020, you are automatically registered for 2021. If you were registered for 2020 and are not going to make the run in 2021, you need to cancel on our RFTW website. This is extremely important for our planning so that we can have an accurate account of who will be riding with us in 2021.  Changes or cancellations are made on RFTW 2021-Registration Revisions o the website.

As of this time, the Kerrville Texas reunion is a go.  It is scheduled for September 25-27.  I am planning on being there and hope you can all make it.  It is always a great reunion.

If you would like a leadership or support position, please check the contact list on RFTW.US midway hub to see if you are on the list. If you are committed to our 2021 route and not on the list, please contact me or your team leader so that we can confirm your position and add you to the list.

Is it May yet?

Honor * Hope * Healing

Respectfully,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

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Midway- Route Coordinator – Newsletter – July post reunion

Greetings RFTW Family!

It was so nice to see everyone at our “Tour of Tennessee” reunion.  Ron “Sky” King and Ed Butler, our Tennessee State Coordinators, did a fantastic job putting together this “mini run” three-day reunion.  I would also like to thank Don “Ten-A-See” King, our reunion Road Guard Captain, and all the Road Guards for a job well done.  Considering this Covid-19 situation, we had an impressive attendance of approximately 80 people.   

 We had fantastic BBQ in Memphis, great music in Franklin and what can I say about Cookeville…..   Wow!  What support and what a welcome.  Jake Hoot, the winner of “The Voice” season 17, sang our National Anthem to open our ceremony.  He also performed the song he wrote about the tornado devastation that occurred.  It was a beautiful and emotional song called “Tennessee Strong”.  We raised a little more than $8,000 that we donated to 6 veterans who lost everything in the tornado.  They were truly appreciative and touched by the generosity and concern from RFTW.  One of them said he will join us next year on the Run!  Here is a link to Jake’s song and video: https://www.facebook.com/jakehootmusic/videos/jake-hoot-tennessee-strong-official-music-video/168486084224623/ 
I thank everyone who donated to our tornado relief fund.

After all of this, we could not have had a better way to end our reunion then the amazing fireworks show on July 4th!  It was, without a doubt, the best fireworks show I have ever seen.  The LEO support and escorts we had throughout this reunion was amazing.  Doing a “Run” type reunion over 3 days was a risk and a lot of work.  The Covid-19 situation did throw a few curve balls to us.  However, I think everyone would agree that it was a success. 

I have had a few people ask if I had a reunion patch like they have for Kerrville.  The truth is that I had not thought of that.  I have an idea for the patch and will be happy to produce those if there is a demand for it  If you would like a “Tour of Tennessee” reunion patch, please let me know by emailing ken.dugas@rtw.us. Like the other patches, I will sell them for $25/ea.  $5.00 covers the cost of the patch and the other $20 would go to the Route for 2021.

I would like to ask those of you who attended and have pictures to please post them on our RFTW group Facebook page.  We have created a “Tour of Tennessee” album for you to post your pictures to.   Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.4672309749461361&type=3&av=280980122905&eav=AfZI-JppVwwWLmAHuW-RcDPEzLmDwr_ZlEUCn2QXlnSYRFnTWqxV_qhnV0LRAw1DqPo    Once we have pictures posted, we will be able to get them uploaded to the rftw.us website.  Thanks to all involved in putting this unique and amazing reunion together and for all of you for attending.

I am pleased to announce that RFTW now has permanent presence at the Stafford Air and Space Museum.  I would like to thank Steve ’Hawgwash” Hill for leading this effort to get the funding for the RFTW brick paver to be installed.  I can’t wait to see it in person in 2021.  Once again, I thank everyone for their support of this accomplishment.

All efforts now turn to our 2021 planning.  If you would like a leadership or support position, please check the contact list on RFTW.US midway hub to see if you are on the list. If you are committed to our 2021 route and not on the list, please contact me or your team leader so that we can confirm your position and add you to the list.

Is it May yet?

Honor * Hope * Healing

Respectfully,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator