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President’s Message, July 2020

Run for the Wall - We Ride For Those Who Can't

The Board of Directors and Route Coordinators met after Midway’s All Routes Reunion making this a busy month for those who attended both events. The Midway Reunion was a great time attended by many riders. The pictures this month reflect the good attendance during the Tennessee Reunion. All three pictures were taken the first day during a lunch stop near Franklin, Tennessee.

This lunch stop was at a park where Subway sandwiches were waiting for the riders. Due to Covid-19 restrictions on limited crowds in restaurants, this picnic lunch was necessary and fun. Above Ken “Six String” Dugas is enjoying the ride. He and a team that featured Ron King, Ed Butler and Gina Cutrer, hosted a great event culminating in a presentation of donations to tornado victims of the Cookeville, Tenn. area, and a tremendous fireworks show. Check out Ken’s route coordinator message here.

While on the Tennessee Reunion ride, we learned the Angel Fire, N.M. Reunion planned for Labor Day was cancelled, due to an order from the New Mexico governor. Sad news. As of July 2, Cowboy said the Kerrville, Tex., Reunion will be a go as long as the YO (hotel/convention center) is open. Click here to read Cowboy’s updates.

Later in July the Board met and discussed how each route was doing in their planning process for RFTW 2021. Each route reported that planning was going well, and they are all contacting the businesses that support them.

As most of you know most businesses have suffered enormous losses due to the lockout this spring and the flare up seen this summer. Reports from the Small Business Administration this week indicated that 1.8 million small businesses have close or filed for bankruptcies.

We are moving forward assuring those who have served us over the years that we will be supporting them in 2021.

Merchandise Director Ray Brammer reminded the BOD that 2020 merchandise is still on sale at 50 percent off and free delivery (for orders over $50) for the rest of the year. Ray told us that the riders have participated in huge numbers since RFTW 2020 was cancelled. Ray wants you all to know how much he and the rest of the BOD appreciates your support. Check out the merchandise tab soon because some have already sold out.

Risk Management Director, Diane McKee discussed with the board dates for opening RFTW 2021 Registration. After a short discussion it was decided to open on August 1, 2020. For those folks who registered for the 2020 RFTW and chose to turn over your registration for 2021 you do not have to do anything further unless, for some reason, you cannot make the 2021 RFTW. We will need to know about any cancellations so our Route Coordinators have an accurate number of riders. If you have not registered for the Sandbox Route, there are special instructions on the Sandbox Tab of how to contact RC Billy “Bugs’ Dunlap to be placed on “waiting list”.

Our meeting ended sadly when Central Route, RC Tom Miller announced that long time riders and former Board of Director, John King passed away on July 6th.  John King and his wife, Elle have supported RFTW for a very long time and was a great friend to hundreds of riders. John was a kind and soft-spoken man who lived to help his fellow man.

His experience with RFTW was legendary and if asked for advice he would kindly give to anyone. Several years ago, this writer, while eating lunch with John, asked him several questions that I knew would help our current BOD with some history. John smiled and very softly told me we were on the right path with the issue and that he had experienced a similar problem while on the board. The conversation was enlightening in many ways and I will always count John King as a very good friend and mentor. Details of a memorial service are pending and when I get the details, I will pass it along.

The family has said that if you wish to make a donation, please send a check to Michael G. Yazzie-King Scholarship, c/o Eve’s Fund, PO Box 3592, Newport, RI 02840-0301, in memory of John and Ela’s son Michael. Their daughter Jessica has posted additional information on Facebook. Rest in peace, John.

Is It May Yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President