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President’s Message May 2021

President’s Message:

IT’S MAY!!!

With Memorial Day weekend coming in a few weeks, I am saddened that we cannot take our “One Mission – Four Routes” into Washington and collectively honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I think I know you all will do your duty this Memorial Day to pay your respects – whether it’s in Washington, DC or in the thousands of cities and towns across America. I wish the very best for you all in this endeavor because patriotism and mission is enduring with our riders.

While you engage in ceremonies this month keep our mission close to your hearts:

“To promote healing among all veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA,” to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.”

And travel safely….

Homes For Our Troops donations

Last month I mentioned that I would send out an early message to report on the Home For Our Troops fundraiser. Here it is:

The first month’s donation totals were very impressive and thank you to everyone who has participated so far. During April $3,700 was donated via direct mail to our treasurer Ken Ward. Additionally, $3,240 was donated through the Facebook campaign with an additional $665 through May 9th. Finally, there is a GE Matching donation for $100 that will be received in August. So, the total is now $7,705. When the home we sponsor is finished, we will be invited to the opening. I hope we have a large response from our riders for this event.

 

Congratulations on a great first month of this mission. We have reached 31 percent of the $25,000 goal! Already during this new donation month, I have been told by riders who schedule monthly RFTW breakfast/lunch groups that they have been passing around a hat as a way of aiding this great mission. To learn more about Homes For Our Troops and why we chose this mission, click on the video here.

At the end of last month, you may have noticed, the Facebook fundraiser totals disappeared and another appeared anew with a lower amount of donations at the end of April. It seems Facebook only allows these fundraisers to run for a month at a time. So, our communications director Nick Hentges simply posted another fundraiser that started at zero dollars for our second month. One reaction to this was disrespectful and disappointing as he opined, without the slightest idea of what he was talking about, that something nefarious was going on. As you all know, the rftw.us website has the phone numbers and email addresses of all board members, including this writer. Please feel free to call me or others with any questions before throwing firebombs on Facebook.

On another note…

Gary “Shepherd” Burd and M-25 has a planned mission (4CPR) to pray for this nation this summer starting in Blaine, Wash., on June 27 and traveling to the four corners of the Continental U.S., ending in the center of the nation in Lebanon, Kan. on July 22. The mission will run approximately 8,700 miles and details can be found in YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqX1Bw0tP2s. Riders are invited to go all the way or pick up one or more legs. Shepherd can be reached at mailto:gburd@arn.net for further details and itinerary.

New BOD members and positions

Last night the BOD voted on new members and position changes.

Here are the results:

  • Dave Klemme, President
  • Jim Marshall, Chairman
  • Nick Hentges, Secretary
  • Jenny Ward, Treasurer
  • Ron King, Risk Management
  • Bill Clark, Merchandise
  • Ted Kapner, Public Relations/Communications
  • Joe Bookataub, Purchasing

John Staub will remain as director of operations.

One Mission – Four Routes.

Respectfully Submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President