President’s Message – January 2019

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As of this writing it is 120 days until we begin our 2019 Run For The Wall®. The Board of Directors and Route Coordinators have been diligently planning for this year’s mission and events that have been meaningful to not only our riders but to the patriot citizens across America. This process will be 99% complete by mid-March. The other 1% is everything else that occurs from March 15 – May 14.

Now, the question is: Are you, staff and riders, all ready for this journey? If you will be a New Participant,” have you read the information found under the RFTW website tab of the same title? If not, I urge you to read the “Ten Days in May” story from a former new participant, then review the FAQ section co-located with this article. Although the original “10 Days” story is based on a Central Route experience, much holds true for all three routes.

If you have questions after reading this information, seek out an experienced rider or call me.

Why we ride

This ten-day mission is an amazing journey that often is quoted as a “life saving mission for me and my family,” “the best 10 days I have experienced since leaving the service,” “I have watched RFTW pass by in their inspirational mile-long parade in years past here in Cookeville but this year I was in position to meet your riders. I served in Vietnam and when I met them, they hugged me and thanked me for my service. They treated me like a brother – it moved me to tears. Thank You.” These comments are just a snapshot of the hundreds of comments I receive from riders and citizens. You will hear these comments every day while on the Run and when it is over you will join this chorus of amazing quotes.

The photo above is of Midway photographer- Ken Munro, and Midway LEO Liaison- Steve Rank, with RFTW supporter Amanda and her girls in Cookeville, TN. Amanda is a Gold Star daughter and she tracked Ken down through RFTW’s website then later visited Ken’s Facebook page. She wrote a four-page letter prior to the 2018 Run, then a note after the Run. 🙂 (See accompanying letters below.) Just a small picture of how RFTW affects citizens across America.

Download (PDF, 431KB)

Download (PDF, 48KB)

What we do

I am often asked by riders how much money does RFTW donate during each run since we are a 501c (3) corporation?  This is a fair question so the BOD treasurer, Ken “Catfish” Ward, has supplied the answers.

These figures reflect both RFTW and rider donations during the 2018 RFTW.

Total donations: $82,446.80.

These donations were to schools along all three routes, Hurricane Harvey Relief (Houston) and Benevolence Fund awards. Congratulations, RFTW riders, you have created hope for many veterans and American citizens of all ages.

Just a quick note before I conclude

I want to mention that our registration as of mid-January has exceeded the numbers recorded last year at this time. I want to thank Diann “Mojo” McKee, RFTW BOD risk manager, for compiling these stats that can be found in detail on our Facebook page. These numbers are a big safety factor for everyone’s planning process. With that said, please register online as soon as possible so our Route Coordinators can staff their routes appropriately. And join me in getting our rides and ourselves ready for the Run. Everyone is welcome.

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,

Les “Easy” Williams, President
Run for The Wall® Board of Directors