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President’s Message November 2017

October has been a busy time as the Board of Directors and 2018 Route Coordinators continue the planning process for this extra special RFTW, The 30th Run for the Wall. Registration continues to be helpful for the planning process. I would like to urge everyone planning to go on the 2018 RFTW to register early and remind friends who are going to do the same. The website registration page is very easy to navigate and can be found at: https://rftw.us/rftw-registration

The Ontario, CA events are still in the planning stage and will soon be wrapped up. Many of our riders have requested we get the Ontario itinerary out sooner, and we are doing our best to accomplish that task. I can tell you that our Ontario coordinator, Carol Olmstead, has lined up many hotel options for all riders. No contracts have been signed yet but most look promising. We will have two “host hotels” that will be helpful for more meeting space. I will advise with more details when the contracts have been signed. The hotel lists for all routes will be published in early January. In past years we have had some problems with rude behavior towards the employees who take these reservations. Please be patient and polite with these folks – these hotels are working with our hotel coordinators to provide the riders with the lowest price they can, and bad behavior does not help our relationships that have been built up over many years.

I had a nice visit with Jim “The Mayor” Frost in Las Vegas, NV last week, and he is looking forward to leading riders to the Riverside National Cemetery once again on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.  This is a day before we officially leave Ontario, CA on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.  Riverside National Cemetery is the home of the Medal of Honor Memorial, whose walls feature the names of all medal recipients. Moreover, he will lead riders to the Fallen Soldier/Veteran’s Memorial, and the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action National Memorial, which was dedicated in 2005. Don’t miss this event—it’s an outstanding start to our mission of “We Ride for Those Who Can’t.”

I have also received inquiries about the status of the hurricane relief fund and the volunteer work crew sign-up during the month. Donations to the fund have slowed down and we are approximately $4,000 short of the $10,000 goal. Checks can be made out to RFTW and sent to Ken Ward with “Hurricane Relief Fund” on the memo line. The BoD will match any amount up to $10,000. Please send what you can—the fund will continue until Gary “Shepherd” Burd calls for the donations which will go to “Disaster Relief USA Fund” (DRUSA).

The effort to set-up volunteer work crews of interested and capable riders is still in the cards. Gary Burd informed me the assessment team will begin in Houston in early December with physical work beginning well after the beginning of the New Year. The sign-up list will be posted on the RFTW Forum after the first of the year. He said they would like folks to sign-up for 3-4 days or more, if they can, to keep the teams working. Donations can be sent to RFTW Treasurer, Ken “Catfish” Ward:

Ken “Catfish” Ward
1766 S Erie Hwy
Hamilton, OH 45011
(be sure to note on the memo line: “For Hurricane Relief”)

Lastly, I wanted to thank the RFTW & Southern Nevada PGR riders for inviting us to the “Remembrance Walk” dedication ceremony that was held on October, 17, 2017 at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, NV. The memorial was the work of Em “Pricklypare” Stempin and her SNVPGR committee. Em and many of the riders present are RFTW riders and supporters. The ceremony was wonderful and is another commitment from veterans that “We Shall Never Forget.”

Above is a picture taken by Ken “Navy Buff” Munro, so everyone can see the work that’s being done by our RFTWers and PGR across the nation. Thanks to everyone involved and those RFTW riders who rode a long way to support this mission. “We Ride for Those Who Can’t.”

Have a wonderful November and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Les “Easy” Williams
President
Run for the Wall Board of Directors