October 23, 2016 at 9:15 pm #2773CatfishParticipant
Ken and I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you who had a hand in making this weekend trip to Rainelle, WV a success. There are so many of you who made this trip a success. From the “Bread Basket Kick-off” donation at our Springfield Face 2 Face Reunion in July, we had a feeling that this was going to be something extra special. Many of you sent money. Another donation basket was past at our Angel Fire Reunion. At the Colorado Weekly meetings, the hat was passed. To each of you, who contributed, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Many of you were praying for this mission, and those prayers paid off!
32 bikes, 48 people, and 7 vehicles from CO, IN, KY, OH, MO, PA, TX, VA & WV headed to Rainelle on a cold Saturday morning. All Routes were represented! Thanks to our CO contingent, we even had a Chase vehicle! We ranged from 4 years old to 78 years old! We had overcome obstacles to make it this far. All of us were determined to get these coats, hats and gloves to Rainelle. A Missing Man formation consisting of Ride Leader, Ken, Roger and Sharon Ingram (Past CR RG Captain), Judy Wormmeester (Sister of Joseph Matejov, who was shot down over Vietnam and has yet to be returned home ), Lee Bush and Jean & Larry Gault (Coat Drive Committee Members) lead the pack. Just like the past 28 years, we were met by Law Enforcement at the top of Big Sewell Mountain. While the pack rode through the town, the trucks carrying our important cargo was greeted by members of VFW Post #4484 to help unload.
A check presentation was made by Ken on behalf of the RFTW riders and BOD to VFW Post #4484 of $10,000 to help in the rebuilding of their post. We all had a hand in this, as it was funded by all three routes as well as the BOD. The Post was completely destroyed by the flood and has since been condemned.
Coats were then passed out and what fun WE had! All of the children were respectful and polite. After they had checked in with school staff, together we’d find them their special coat, beautiful handmade knitted hat, and gloves. It was exciting to see all of the color coordinating that went on. Small pillow and cases had been donated and each child received one of these as well. I’d never seen kids so excited to get what we tend to take for granted!
It is a special blessing to know that a lot of you believed in this Mission. Let me repeat – this could not have happened without your support and prayers. To the Coat Drive Committee, thank you for being available. And, to each of you, no matter how small or big your part, we say thank you. This Coat Drive was a huge success and we made a difference in these kids’ lives!
PS – For pictures, please check Facebook.
Ken "Catfish" Ward
Treasurer, Board of Director 2014-Current
Route Coordinator, 2014 Central Route
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