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President’s Message, September 2020

President’s Message:

Well here it is September and a week from the Kerrville, Texas reunion. The events scheduled can be found on the website at https://rftw.us/forums/topic/tx-reunion-for-all-past-present-and-future-rftw-riders/ Please note the deadline for registration for postmarked registration is Sept.21.

The Board of Directors met last week for our regular meeting. This meeting focused on planning issues underway for Run For The Wall four routes. Each Route Coordinator briefed the Board on their individual routes. All four RCs reported the planning process is going smoothly and each is working on hotel blocks for the 2021 RFTW.

As mentioned in my last message we have anticipated business closures as a result of some Covid-19 pandemic draconian regulations. Some of those businesses along our routes have closed and scheduled lunch stops have been cancelled.

Our State Coordinators are working hard to fill in those closures as they are discovered. State Coordinators are amazing and a blessing to RFTW. They have a tough job and are usually found juggling many balls at the same time. With this issue they have been on top of their game. Next year if you get to meet these leaders don’t hesitate to thank them for their faithful attention to our journey.

Getting over this wall with…
a little help from our friends.

During August I heard from several RFTW riders with concerns about whether there would be a RFTW 2021. I know the pandemic and all the other disruptions that have occurred this summer have weighed heavily on many riders. I reminded each caller that the Board of Directors and the Route Coordinators are planning and working hard for RFTW 2021.

With that said I think most of our riders weathered the storms of Vietnam, Panama, Somalia, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and I think we need to think about how we successfully weathered those tumultuous times to put this year’s issues in perspective.

Nothing was easy on this beach…

RFTW Director of Risk Management Diann McKee sent me the current registration numbers which reveal additional interest in our mission with approximately 40 new registrations in August.

The stats breakdown for 2021 (as of Sept. 13):

  • Central Route – 417
  • Midway Route – 288
  • Southern Route – 413
  • Sandbox Route – 331

(Fewer than 10 riders have cancelled for 2021)

I am very pleased with the ongoing planning process and the hurdles that your BOD, Route Coordinators, leadership crews, and State Coordinators have accomplished this this year to keep RFTW afloat in these troubled times – like all veterans, surrender is not in their vocabulary. I am equally proud of riders from all routes who have responded to our calls to purchase dated merchandise from the RFTW store. You have our utmost respect and gratitude for shopping in the RFTW store. We know you have many other choices where to shop but you chose to shop at RFTW.us and that act of loyalty and kindness did not go unnoticed. Our finances are in very good shape and have improved this past summer as donations have been received from private donors and through our account with smil.amazon.com. If you are not signed up with smile.amazon.com please consider signing up, choose Run For The Wall as your organization and watch Amazon donations increase. Signing up costs you nothing as Amazon donates a percentage from the total purchases made by RFTW Amazon Smile customers each quarter.

Before I sign off, I would like to inform you that a former RFTW rider participant who rode for many years with the Central Route has passed away. Monte “Bull Rider” Apodoca was a passionate rider who worked hard for veteran issues and rode with RFTW to further assist veterans from all wars. Monte made many friends along the Central Route and many of you may have known him. Monte’s brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Linda Hulette of Lakewood, Colo., notified us of his death a few days ago. They have set up a Go-fund-me account for his wife Linda Apodoca, titled “A New Life for the Bull Rider’s Wife” Monte Apodaca Memorial Fund. If you are interested in donating the link is: https://gf.me/u/yyb4gi . Rest in peace, Monte.

Is It May Yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President