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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

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – July Reunion 2020

Greetings RFTW Family!

I hope this newsletter finds you all safe and well.  “High Maintenance” and I, along with several of our  RFTW Louisiana friends, will be leaving Thursday morning for Memphis, TN.  We are looking forward to seeing all of you going to the reunion.  It will be nice to be with our RFTW family again!

We have selected 6 families of service-related disabled veterans to help with our tornado relief fund.  5 of the 6 families are scheduled to have dinner with us in Cookeville!  If you have spare money burning a whole in your pocket, please bring it with you.  We will have a few items to auction off and will be doing what we can to increase our donations to this fundraiser.  One of the items will be the beautiful RFTW Midway Route 2020 stained glass piece made for us by “Captain” RGC from Southern route.   I want to express my appreciation to all of you who have donated to help these families recover from the loss of their homes, cars, and personal belongings due to the tornado. They have lost everything!   July 4th, Cookeville will have the second largest firework show in Tennessee!  It is suggested that you strap a folding chair on your bike, It will come in handy for the firework show as well as our meetings/ gatherings that we will have outdoors.  Due to the covid-19 restrictions we will not be able to gather in a room at the hotels.  We will have to do our “social distancing ” gatherings outdoors. 

Our Cookeville stop and dinner are good to go!  We will have two scheduled fuel stops.  They will be handled by a fuel team like on the Run.  Please make sure you have your $10, $5 & $1 bills for your fuel.  Price will be rounded up to the next dollar and NO CHANGE WILL BE GIVEN.  If you are not registered for the reunion and your plans have made you available, I invite you to join us.  Registration will be open through the event.  Hotel rooms are available and our rates have been held for us.  If you would like to join us, please email Ron “Sky” King at Ron.King@RFTW.US and let him know when you will be joining us.  You will be able to pay for your events when you arrive at registration.  Ron needs to know who will be going to the different events for the reservations.  You may also call or text him.  His contact number is on the rftw.us website midway hub under midway contacts.

Safe riding everyone and can’t wait to see all of you again.

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

Honor * Hope * Healing

Riding for those who can’t

Respectfully,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – June 2020

Greetings RFTW Family!

I am so looking forward to our upcoming reunion!  We will be “riding for those who can’t” at our “Tour of Tennessee” reunion starting July 2nd.     Covid 19 is still taking its toll on our plans.  I have a few updates for you concerning our July 4th day.  Our planned visit to the VA hospital has been cancelled.  Our contact at the hospital was optimistic that we would be able to visit.  However, their visitation restrictions remain in place and so we had to make other plans.  In the morning, we will now have an optional visit to the Confederate cemetery and museum.  You can check out their website at: www.mcgavockcemetery.org.   We will have lunch and entertainment at Moonshine Harley Davidson.  After lunch, Ron King and Ed Butler have put together a beautiful Tennessee scenic mountain ride for us with a fuel stop in Sewanee, TN.  From there, we will head to Cookeville.  We will have a small “breakout” platoon take a route escorted by law enforcement down HWY 70 where the tornedo damage occurred.  The main pack will parade through Cookeville.  I have attached the latest agenda below this newsletter.  We have currently raised over $4,500 that will be donated to veterans that need assistance recovering from the tornedo.  They will be joining us for dinner in Cookeville.  It is not too late to donate!  If you would like to donate to this tornedo relief fund, you may do so through our rftw.us website.  To do so just select the RED DONATE button on the home page.  Please make sure that you complete all the information and MAKE SURE YOU LIST TORNADO RELIEF FUND IN THE NOTE SECTION!  If you do not make this note, the money will not go to this cause and will go to the general BOD account.
Each person registered will be getting more information early next week to include more details regarding routes, times, activities, and auction items from our TN State Coordinator, Ron “SKY” King.

Midway is still looking for a State Coordinator for Oklahoma.  If you are interested, please reach out to me and I will be happy to discuss the position with you.

I would like to thank all of you who helped and supported our Midway route for 2020.  I am so grateful for your support and I look forward to working with everyone again as our plans for 2021 are already in progress.

Once again, I remind all our leadership and support people, please confirm that you are on our Midway hub contacts list.  If you are not, please contact me or your team leader to confirm your positions for 2021.  This list will be kept updated as I have positions confirmed.

We will never forget!

Is it July yet?

Honor * Hope * Healing

Respectfully,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

2020 Tour of Tennessee Reunion Hosted by Midway Route
2 July – 4 July, 2020

Come join the fun in Tennessee over 4th July weekend.  We will be riding half way across the State of Tennessee.  Planned activities include a wreath laying ceremony, Song Writers Night Out, Boswell’s Harley Davidson Dealer party, visit two VA hospitals and ride into Cookeville for dinner and 2nd largest firework show in Tennessee, open evenings in Memphis and Nashville, and – and – and.

Agenda
Thursday, 2 July
1500 – 1700           Lobby Registration
1830 – 1900           Meet in lobby for move to Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous (Ribs & BBQ)
1900 – 2100           Dinner Rendezvous ($36.00 ea.) {52 S. 2nd Street} or  On Your Own!
1830 – until           On your own Downtown Or Beale Street Music and Blues

Friday, 3 July
0630 – 0730           Lobby Registration
0700 – 0900          Hot Breakfast @ Hotel
0910 – 0930          Hotel Parking Garage Stage (Rider Meeting)
0930 – 1110          I-40 to Exit 108 Parkers Crossroad, TN State Veterans Cemetery
1120 – 1145          Lay Wreath (693 Wildersville Road, Wildersville, TN)
1155 – 1310          Lunch Parkers Crossroad Park (Subway $7.00 ea.) (1:05 Lunch Stop)
1315 – 1345          Fuel Stop Marathon (Gas and GO)
1345 – 1540          Ride to Host Hotel, Drury Plaza, Franklin, TN
1715 – 1800          Lobby Reception / Registration
1830 – 1855          Stage & Ride to Kimbro’s ($10.00 ea. cover / open bar & food)
1900 – until           Song Writers @ Kimbro’s Picking Parlor, Franklin, TN
1900 – until          On your own Downtown Or Grand Ole Opry. Buy your tickets online!

Saturday, 4 July 2020
0630 – 0730           Lobby Registration
0700 – 0900          Hot Breakfast @ Drury Plaza Hotel
0830 – 0840           Hotel Parking Stage for McGavock Confederate Cemetery and Museum
0840 – 0900          Breakout to McGavock Cemetery & Museum (Group Tour Rate $15/ea.)
0900 – 1130          Visit Cemetery & Museum (1 Hr. Museum and House Tour $18/ea.)
1130 – 1150          Breakout to Moonshine Harley Davidson (May Leave Earlier TBD)
1115 – 1130          Pack Hotel Parking Stage for ride to Moonshine Harley Davidson
1130 – 1140          Ride to Moonshine Harley Davidson (Free Lunch)
1140 – 1315          Moonshine HD (1:35 Lunch)
1315 – 1320          Stage for ride to Cookeville, TN
1320 – 1715          Ride to Cookeville, TN Scenic Mountain Ride w/Fuel Stop Sewanee, TN
1530 – 1710          Breakout to Cookeville Tornado Damage then Dinner (Limit of 10 Bikes)
1730 – 1900          Reception and Dinner Cookeville (Auction & Donation to Tornado Veterans)

Sunday, 5 July 2020
0700 – 0900          Hot Breakfast @ Hotel
1100                     Check-out

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – May 2020 #2

Today is the day we all wish we were together with our RFTW family in Ontario ready to kick off our Run in the morning. Unfortunately that will not take place this year. However, our mission continues and I am very excited about our “virtual” Run. Please go to our RFTW.US website everyday during our scheduled run. Our website has “virtual runs” for all routes. Check out our Midway Hub for the daily SITREPs and photos. Today, we have our first SITREP posted describing our day before we leave Ontario. It is amazing! I want to thank Jim “Hoofer” McCrain for writing our SITREPs. Jim does an amazing job with them and I personally look forward to reading them every day. Today’s is based on the “Night before Christmas” and is very creative!

I was greeted this morning with a fantastic surprise on Facebook. Milan Elementary created a video for us. I must admit that it brought a tear to my eye. Milan and the children of that school are very special to our Midway RFTW family. It is encouraging to see schools such as Milan teach our children patriotism and love of our country and appreciation for our veterans. It really gives us hope for the future. I would like to thank Principle Clara DeArmond and her teachers for working with the children from their homes to put this video together and make this happen for us. We will miss our visit to Milan very much but we look forward to seeing them next year. The link for the video is: https://www.facebook.com/clara.dearmond/videos/3065867810144192/
Midway received some donations for Milan Elementary. I thank all of you who made donations. Rest assured that I will be a good steward of your money and the donations will be sent to the school. Our New Mexico State Coordinator-Tina Reeves , Cornman, Gearshift, Dan “TapOut” and “Shorty Sifford” will be going to the school to deliver the coins that Ray “Cornman” gives to the 6th graders every year. They are making sure that the class of 2020 does not miss out on their coins. They will also announce the donation that will be going to the school. Thank all of you for doing this and representing RFTW Midway so well!

Gunny Gregory made it to Ontario. Many of you have been following his journey on Facebook. You may even be joining him every morning for the Pledge of Allegiance! Gunny will begin his journey east in the morning. You can keep up with him on his Facebook page. I will be joining Gunny on his way to Arlington and will be bringing all of you, in spirit, with me! Let me remind everyone that this is not a RFTW sanctioned ride and we are not riding as a group. However, maybe we will see some other RFTW family members in Arlington as well.

As we continue with this virtual RFTW, I will be holding the drawing for the hotel raffle. Several of you sent in money for the chance to win “hotel” money. The prize is $1,000.00. You sent your money in so I see no reason not to draw for the prize. I will bring the names/tickets with me and I will ask Gunny to draw the winner. We will video the drawing and announce the winner Wednesday May 20th. Good luck to all of you and thank you for your support. The funds raised from this drawing will be used for our Midway fuel as promised, however it will just be used in 2021.

Please don’t forget about our Tour of Tennessee Reunion Fourth of July weekend. It will be a great event and we can once again get together as our RFTW family. Get your hotel reservations and register now. See RFTW.US Midway hub for more information. During the “virtual run” you will not see the normal Midway Hub menu. However, if you go to the Run Details tab at the top then Midway Hub, you will see the regular menu. I hope to see you all in Tennessee!

Remember to “Ride for those who can’t”. Again, from the Midway hub, print out a BIO to ride for. Remember to post pictures of your rides with the bios. It will be a great reminder of why we ride. We will never forget!

Ride and be safe.
Is it JULY yet?

Honor * Hope * Healing

Ken “Six String” Dugas


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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – May 2020

Greetings RFTW Family!

MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS AND REGISTER FOR THE RFTW TENNESSEE REUNION ASAP!
Everything is moving forward for our reunion over the 4th of July weekend and I hope to see as many of you there as possible.  It should be a fantastic event.  Find out more info on RFTW.US website under the Midway Hub. (2020 tour of Tennessee reunion).

May 13th is quickly approaching  and I know we all wish that we would be in Ontario together and ready to kick off our mission.  As we know, our current situation has not allowed this to happen.  However, nothing will stop our mission in our hearts.  We will be having a “Virtual Run” on the rftw.us website.  There will be postings of what would be happening on each day of the scheduled Run.  Gunny Gregory will be posting live feeds with his thoughts. I encourage all of you to check out our website every day May 13 – May 26.    

Now being offered,  FREE Shipping on purchases over $50 and the coveted RFTW 2020 Pins are 25% off! Get your 2020 RFTW merchandise and represent our mission.  Print a MIA/POW/KIA bio from rftw.us website, under Midway Hub (“Riding for those who can’t” bio link) and ride for them.  Take a picture of you riding with it and post on our RFTW Facebook page.  Work is being done to allow these pictures to be shared on the website.  I will pass on more information when that is available.   This last week, my grandson, Zachery, made his first motorcycle ride with me.  Of course, he was “riding for those who can’t” and he will “never forget”! I was a proud Pop!

Our Southern Route Coordinator, Bob “Captain America” Nelson, has invited us to join them on his “Quest 2020”.  To participate, do the following during May 13 – May 26:

  • Create a BIO (or 2) of your own, representing those We Will Never Forget; you can also download and print one from the link to the list of BIOs on the rftw.us website (TBA) or https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JgW-7dn8b00J53iXcExl-Rfmy-7TZPpW?usp=sharing
  • Put on your favorite Run For The Wall 2020 shirt
  • Ride to towns within your state beginning with R, T, F & W
  • Take a picture with your BIO, in front of something which shows the name of the town.
  • Please share your pictures on our rftw.us picture portal (TBA)
  • All four do not all have to be done in the same day
  • This is open to ALL Routes, Riders and Passengers, FNGs and Seasoned Riders
  • When you have finished, send me an email to bob.nelson@rftw.us with the dates and towns that you visited.
  • In turn, I will email you your Certification of Completion.
  • If that seems too easy, you can challenge the Super HOPE Quest and add the H, O, P & E towns.  The same “rules” apply.
  • See Bob’s Southern Route RC newsletter for more info.

Please check our Midway Leadership contact link on the website.  If you are committed to returning to a leadership position for 2021, please make sure your name is on the list.  If it is not, please contact me and I will add you.  I am keeping this list current.  Please remember that we are in need of a State Coordinator for Oklahoma.  Please let me know if you would be interested in this position.

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

Is it July yet?

Honor * Hope * Healing

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter- April 2020 #2

Happy Easter RFTW Family!

RFTW 2020 is alive and well on Midway.  What do we do best?  We adapt and overcome!  I know I am biased; however, I must say again, I am so proud of our Midway team and excited to announce our new initiative lead by our outstanding Outreach Team!  The postponing of RFTW XXXII is not stopping our mission in 2020.  What do we do?  “WE RIDE FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T”.  What will we never do? “WE WILL NEVER FORGET”! 

Instead of riding for our 10-day RFTW mission this year, we are inviting our entire RFTW family (not just Midway) to adopt a” Bio” and ride for that person all year long!  Ride for as many as you would like.  Here is what we propose:

I have created the following link which will take you to a folder on our RFTW Google drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JgW-7dn8b00J53iXcExl-Rfmy-7TZPpW?usp=sharing

There you will find hundreds of bios that have been created and uploaded to our “Bios–we will never forget” folder. We will continue to add more. Choose the one or ones you would like to print and keep with you on your bike.  (I would suggest laminating them.)  If you do not find someone you are looking for, let our Outreach leader, Vickie “Needy” Meyer know, and she will get it for you.  (vic.meyer@yahoo.com).  I have requested permission to have this link added to our RFTW.US website and, once approved, should be up soon.  I will pass on more info as we develop this concept.

Our first post: “Needy” rode 120 miles today for Lee Dufford Harley. We will never forget!

This will be a great reminder and will do us all good to look through these bios and see the faces and read the stories of these lost heroes. A high price has been paid for our freedom!  We will never forget.  Our goal is to have people take pictures with their bios and bikes when they go on nice rides. You may want to print a new bio for every trip you make and ride for different people throughout the year.  Please share those pictures on RFTW’s Facebook page to keep everyone reminded that we will always “ride for those who can’t”.   You will motivate others by sharing and keep our mission in everyone’s thoughts.  If you will be returning to RFTW in 2021, bring the bios of those you have ridden for with you and take them to the “Wall“and/or Middle East Conflicts Memorial.

I thank the Outreach Team for their work on this.  It is just another example of how we are better when we work together.  I love this idea and hope you will join me in supporting this.  It will keep our mission alive all year long.  Great job Midway team!

Please do not forget about our Tennessee ALL ROUTE reunion in July! 
You may register for this event on our RFTW.US website under the Midway Hub.  The following link will take you to the registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc68nBDL3QGkt2vSdKyWMkqa5mp_cvcgq36HK9GmRCQZdgj9A/viewform  

Tennessee Tornado Relief Fundraiser update:  We have currently raised $2,081.00 to help veterans devastated by the tornado.  If you would like to contribute to this fundraiser, you may go to the RFTW.US website and click on the red “donate” button.  Please make sure that you put “tornado relief fund” in the note section or your donation will not go to this cause.  We are planning on personally delivering some of the funds to the recipients in Cookeville during our reunion.  Thank you for your support!

IMPORTANT:  Midway is looking for someone to take on the responsibilities of State Coordinator for Oklahoma.  The State Coordinator position is vital to the success of our mission and requires a strong commitment to do whatever it takes to make our route a success.  Dennis “Okie-D” Freie has done a remarkable job in the position from the start of the Midway route and has things in very good order for Oklahoma.  However, he feels that it is time for us to find someone for him to work with to transition this responsibility to.  I will always be grateful to Okie-D for all he has done for our mission. If you are in Oklahoma and would be interested in finding out more about this need and opportunity, please contact me.  Thank you.

I wish you all a Blessed and Happy Easter!

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

Is it July yet?

Honor * Hope * Healing

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

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Midway Route Coordinator- Newsletter- April 2020

Good Times!

Greetings RFTW Family!

RFTW XXXII may be postponed but we are continuing to work on our 2020 mission.  Our Midway leadership team is continuing to build, what I am calling, our “Book of Midway”.  This is a system that will contain all the important information that is needed to coordinate and construct our Midway route from year to year.  Our unsung heroes, the State Coordinators, will be playing a vital role in its success and implementation. The goal is to build consistency on how things are done for our route through all the states we cross and will greatly help with the transition of leadership positions and the sustainability of our route.   Once accomplished, it will make our route more efficient and benefit RFTW for many years to come.  Also, I have updated our Midway contact list on the rftw.us website.  The only people listed on that list is leadership who have replied to my request to confirm their commitment to serve on Midway 2021.  There are MANY open positions! Please go to that list and see if you are on it.  If you are not, it means that I have not received your notification and you do not have the position.  Please let me know that you are available to come back and serve in the position for 2021.  At that time, we can confirm your position and add you to the list.  I hope to have you all return to our team for 2021.  We are moving forward!

Speaking of moving forward, I am very excited to announce our Tennessee ALL ROUTE reunion!  It is our first reunion of its kind and I feel it is very appropriate, especially for a year where our RFTW route has been postponed until 2021.  Hopefully, this Covid-19 pandemic will be over and we will be good to go. We are calling it our “Tour of Tennessee Reunion”.  Like the other reunions, it will be an “unofficial” – “non-sanctioned” event.  However, it will be like a mini RFTW route over the 4th of July weekend.  We made sure that this reunion did not conflict with Angel Fire this year and want to encourage ALL ROUTES to join us for this reunion.  The reunion will begin on July 2nd with nightly stops in Memphis, Franklin and Cookeville.  Communities will host us; we will visit TN veteran’s cemetery and memorials. We will have wreath laying ceremonies and visit VA hospitals and finish with a big finale dinner in Cookeville.  Cookeville will also have a large fireworks display that evening. We will have plenty to do to socialize and visit with our RFTW family with nights of food, drinks and music at Kimbro’s Picking Parlor, BBQ at Rendezvous, free time on Beale Street and Downtown Nashville just to name a few things.  I have included the entire agenda with hotel info for your review.  All hotel blocks are open at this time and will close on June 4th.

You may register for this event on the RFTW.US website under the Midway Hub.  The following link will also take you to the registration: LINK.  The fee is $25/PP plus other fees for the events you choose to attend.  Fees need to be paid in advance for planning purposes.

Pay via VENMO to: @Gina-Cutrer-1
Make a Check to: Gina Cutrer  write reunion in the memo.
Mail Check to:  Reunion,  33538 Nancy Drive, Walker, LA 70785
 If any excess money is collected, it will go to the Tennessee tornado relief fundraiser. 

IS IT JULY YET????

With much respect and gratitude,
Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

2020 Tour of Tennessee Reunion
Hosted by Midway Route
2 July – 4 July, 2020

Come join the fun in Tennessee over 4th July weekend.  We will be riding halfway across the State of Tennessee.  Planned activities include 2 wreath laying ceremonies, Song Writers Night Out, Moonshine Harley Davidson Dealer party, visit two VA hospitals and ride into Cookeville for dinner and 2nd largest firework show in Tennessee, open evenings in Memphis and Nashville, and – and – and.

Hotel reservation blocks are open and closes 4 June 2020.

Memphis, TN (2 July 2020)
Crown Plaza Memphis Downtown
300 N. Second Street., Memphis, TN 38103
Reservation Number:  1-901-525-1800
Group Rate: $119.00)
Group Name: Run-For-The-Wall

Franklin, TN (3 July 2020)
Drury Plaza Hotel
1874 West McEwen Ave., Franklin, TN 37067
Reservation Number:  1-800-325-0720
Group Number:  2413591  (Rate $134.00)
Group Name:  Veteran’s Reunion Run-For-The-Wall

Cookeville, TN (4 July 2020)
Country Inn & Suites
1151 S. Jefferson Ave., Cookeville, TN 38506
Reservation Number:  1-931-525-6668
Group Rate $85.00
Group Name:  Reunion Run-For-The-Wall

Agenda

Thursday, 2 July
1400 – 1700                 Lobby Registration
1815 – 1825                 Meet in lobby for move to Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous (Ribs & BBQ)
1830 – 2100                 Dinner Rendezvous ($36.00 ea.) {52 S. 2nd Street} or  On Your Own!
1830 – until                  Open Beale Street Music and Blues

Friday, 3 July
0630 – 0730                 Lobby Registration
0700 – 0900     Hot Breakfast @ Hotel
0930 – 0945                 Hotel Parking Garage Stage (Rider Meeting)
1000 – 1145                 I-40 to Exit 108 Parkers Crossroad, TN State Veterans Cemetery
1200 – 1215     Lay Wreath (693 Wildersville Road, Wildersville, TN)
1230 – 1345     Marathon Fuel/Lunch Subway $7.00 ea. (1:15 Fuel/Lunch Stop)
1400 – 1645     Ride to Host Hotel Franklin, TN
1715 – 1800                 Lobby Reception / Registration
1830 – 1855     Stage & Ride to Kimbro’s ($10.00 ea. cover / open bar & food)
1900 – until      Song Writers @ Kimbro’s Picking Parlor, Franklin, TN
1900 – until                On your own Downtown Or Grand Ole Opry. Buy your tickets online!

Saturday, 4 July 2020
0630 – 0730                 Lobby Registration
0700 – 0900     Hot Breakfast @ Hotel
0900 – 1100                 Breakout to VA Hospital Downtown (Limited to 20 Bikes)
1030 – 1045     Hotel Parking Stage for ride to Moonshine Harley Davidson
1045 – 1100     Ride to Moonshine Harley Davidson (Free Lunch)
1100 – 1215     MoonShine HD (1:15 Lunch)
1215 – 1230     Stage for ride to Murfreesboro VA
1230 – 1330                 Ride to Murfreesboro VA Hospital (01:00 Visit)
1430 – 1500                 Ride to Lebanon Veterans Memorial/Museum (01:00 Visit)
1500 – 1630                 Breakout to Cookeville Tornado Damage then Dinner (One Platoon)
1500 – 1600                 Lay Wreath at Lebanon Veterans Memorial
1600 – 1610                Stage for ride to Cookeville
1615 – 1715                 Ride to Cookeville
1715 – 1800                 Reception and Dinner provided by Cookeville

Sunday, 5 July 2020
0700 – 0900     Hot Breakfast @ Hotel
1100                            Check-out

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Midway Route Coordinator Newsletter- March 2020 – #4

Greetings RFTW family from sunny south Louisiana. Yes, it has finally stopped raining, (at least for today). The sun is shining and we are moving forward with our mission!

A lot of people are going through very tough times right now. Our veterans and all our RFTW family need to know that we are here for each other and support one another. Please reach out to your RFTW family if you need us. At this time, I would like to remind everyone of the tragic tornado devastation to our friends and family in the Cookeville and Lebanon Tennessee areas. These towns are great supporters of RFTW. Several people have reached out to me to ask if there was something we can do to help. With the help of the TN State Coordinators, I am pleased to tell you the answer is yes!

I did not want to set something up to send money to a place where our donations would be lost and we wouldn’t know what the money was used for. Our Tennessee State Coordinators have reached out to the people in the area to determine what we could do to help veterans that were in dire need of help to recover from the tornado. Our donations will be going directly to help needy veterans! Some cannot afford to even start the rebuilding process!

I have spoken with our Treasurer, Ken Ward and he has helped to set up the process for this. If you would like to donate to this cause, please make checks payable to: Run for the Wall (RFTW) and mail to:
RFTW attn: Ken Ward
1766 S. Erie Highway, Hamilton, OH  45011
IMPORTANT!: Make sure you write “Midway Tornado Relief” on the note line. If you do not, your donation will not go to this cause.

The “Donate” button on the RFTW.US website has been moved to the front page. You can also use this button to donate through PayPal. If you are donating for this cause, you need to make sure that you put “Midway Tornado relief” in the note section or, once again, your donation will not go to this cause.

There are so many people who need help. However, I hope our efforts make you feel comfortable that your donations will get to our veterans in need. I want to thank our TN State Coordinator Ron “Sky” King and his Assistant SC, Ed “Midway” Butler for their efforts to make sure our donations will go to help veterans.

Ed personally worked in a veteran’s home to assist with salvaging and recovering their belongings from what was their home. They survived in a closet under the stairs, the only room intact.  Ed said, “There are no words to express the sadness and hurt a person feels working to pick up a lifetime of families heirlooms.”

We have RFTW “boots on the ground” there to oversee the distribution of our donations.

The point of contact is the Putnam Veteran’s Service office. Although we have been told they had not identified all of the veterans effected, they have had several come in asking for assistance. We are focused on the Veterans.

This sign is one of two made specifically for Run for the Wall by Cookeville.

Hwy 70 is where the main tornado damage occurred. Two of these hwy 70 signs were made specifically for RFTW. The largest donor will get one of the signs and the other sign will accompany us on RFTW to be signed and them given back to Cookeville.

I invite people from all routes to contribute to this cause if they would like. We are 4 routes but 1 mission. I will keep you updated from time to time on how our fundraising for the tornado victims is going.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Sincerely,
Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – March 2020 update #3

Greetings RFTW Midway Family!

I know we are all disappointed about our 2020 run being cancelled.  I needed a couple of days for this to settle in and spend with my grandchildren.  Now, I am back in the saddle!  I plan on taking this negative and making it a positive by focusing on the future.  I hope you all will as well.

I thank you for your support over this past year.  I am so proud of our team and the job they have done.  We had several new and exciting things we were going to incorporate into our 2020 route.  We will just continue to work on them and make it even better for 2021.

Looking forward, I have spoken with my wife “High Maintenance”, and with the support of our Midway team, I will accept the RC 2021 position. I really want to finish what we have started this year. 

We will turn the cancelation of our 10 day Run into a yearlong mission.  Our Run might have been cancelled but our Mission lives on.  Our Outreach Coordinator and her team have an excellent and exciting plan that I look forward to sharing with all of you.  Plans have begun on a very unique reunion idea that most likely will be held over the 4th of July weekend.  We will continue to have a fund raiser to help veterans in dire need from the Cookeville tornado devastation.  We will have the drawing for the $1000 hotel prize.  We will be here for any of our veterans that need our support.

I have already begun the work of assembling our team for 2021.  “High Maintenance” and I will be taking this opportunity to make all three reunions if possible.   I will continue to post RC Newsletters to keep everyone updated as to what we have going on and the progress we are making.  I hope that you all will begin your planning to join us for RFTW 2021!

With much respect and gratitude,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway RC

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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – March 2020 update #3

Greetings RFTW Midway family,

I attended the Board of Directors meeting that was called to discuss the Covid-19 virus situation and the effect on RFTW 2020.  Much discussion was had and after much consideration, I regret to inform you that RFTW 2020 has been cancelled.  It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you this because I know how important this mission is to everyone and how much work has gone into planning for this Run.  I am sure that you are all as disappointed about this as I am. 

I have been in touch with all the State Coordinators. Like most participants, some wanted us to continue and others did not think it was a good idea.  The CDC guidelines and many of the state’s government restrictions just made the planning for our route to go on practically impossible. 

The BOD is charged with the responsibility of making sure the Run for the Wall, as an organization, is protected and here to serve our mission for the future.  It was a difficult vote to make but was done for the benefit of RFTW’s future as well as for the safety of our RFTW family and supporters.  The 4 Route Coordinators understand and support their decision.  I hope you all will too. 

I want to thank everyone who put so much work into our mission for this year.  I am very grateful to all of you who put so much time and effort with me into this 2020 Run to make it, what I know would have been, such a special year. I do not want to single anyone out and it is not practical for me to list everyone. However, I must thank the State Coordinators and our Road Guard Captain!  An unbelievable number of hours were put in by these people. I also want to thank our ARC. He was thrown into this position at the last minute and was such a big help.  All our team leaders stepped up to the plate.  What a fantastic team we have put together!  I hope that you will all be here for us again for 2021! 

We realize that this mission touches and affects many communities across our country.  It was only right that we do not wait until the last minute to cancel this event this year.  In some areas, our State Coordinators were finding it very difficult to impossible to obtain the volunteers, supplies and donations to take care of us, and State’s restrictions would not allow our group to assemble.  We also must consider the impact we have on businesses, donors and volunteers.  For instance, we book hundreds of hotel rooms.  It would not be very respectful to the hotels to cancel all those rooms at the last minute.  They would probably be very reluctant to block rooms for us again next year.  Our Hosts will be buying all kinds of food and supplies for us, it would not be right to back out on them at the last minute and have them stuck with the expenses and wasted time put into this.

Our route was put together very well, and our leadership team represented RFTW very professionally.  We must cancel this event just as well and professionally.  We need time to contact the hotels, donors, hosts, Law Enforcement, community leaders, etc….   We must express our regret as well as our appreciation for their understanding and support.  We will ask for their continued support for next year as well! When cancelling your hotel reservations, please thank them and let them know that we look forward to staying with them next year. Please be a good ambassador for RFTW. It is a difficult time for them as well and we want them to look forward to working with us again.

I will continue to send out RC Newsletters with any updates that I can pass on to all of you to keep you informed as to what is going on with the Midway route. and our plans to prepare for 2021.

The BOD has asked me to return as Route Coordinator for 2021.  This route belongs to the Midway family.  If the Midway team will support my return, I would be honored to work another year as RC to serve the Midway Route for 2021.  I hope that we will be able to keep this fantastic team together!   I choose to not look at this as a negative thing but as a positive opportunity to begin work early for Midway 2021! God willing, this situation will pass soon. My trust is in God and if this situation changes soon enough, you never know, I may just show up at “The Wall” on my own for Memorial Day weekend. Maybe I will see some of you there!

I wish you all good health and happiness and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the reunions.

Have I told you lately?……………………………………I love my RFTW Midway Family!

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator