The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 29, 2012

The right to ride and help others

My Turn: By D. Conors

On September 15th members of the American Legion Riders Post 201 of Sunbury instituted and participated on a charity ride for the family of Kirk and Mayson Mahaffey who lost their lives in a tragic accident in July of this year.

The American Legion Riders is a 501-K non-profit veterans organization who, “...are well known for their charitable work, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local children’s hospitals, schools, veterans homes,  severely wounded service-members and scholarships.”

Our local organization is comprised of a solid, respectable, family-oriented group of motorcycle enthusiasts whom have served honorably and even heroically in our country’s conflicts.

After the final coordination with the participating law enforcement agencies, which provided safety instructions and materials, a prayer by the chaplain, and a signal from our Road captain, we left the premises at approximately 12:45 pm.

Our group left the downtown Sunbury area in less than 10 minutes, reaching our first destination in Milton in about 30 minutes. The Kirk and Mayson Memorial ride amassed a small mountain of gifts and donations from the generosity of both the business and private sector of our region.

The end result helped a family coping with a devasting tragedy exceeded anyone’s expectations.

This outpouring of support from the citizens of Sunbury and its surrounding communities helped make this event an unequaled success, enabling the family to persevere and set up a foundation which, with our continued support, will be aiding in further charitable aid to the children’s ward of Geisinger Medical Center.

We are especially grateful and humbled by the enthusiasm and love that was shown during this time in our community’s darkest hour.

As American citizens and Veterans of our country’s armed services, we exercised our First Amendment right, which heretofore promotes,  “...the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests” in accords to the Constitution of the United States, which, in essence is “...the right to freedom of association recognized as a human right,  political right, and civil liberty.”

This is a right we, as American Legion Rider veterans have sworn to “Preserve, protect and defend.”

Our meetings are always open to all who wish to attend.

We have always welcomed members of the community to attend our meetings and offer an allotted period of time on our floor to address concerns and queries. The Kirk and Mayson Memorial Ride was a highly publicized, peaceful, charitable event that violated no laws and in which no one was harmed, compromised or degraded.

We are citizens of this borough and will continue to host more charitable rides and events in the future to help our fellow citizens continue to enjoy the “...unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  

Our next open meeting will be held on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. at the American Legion Post 201, 611 Market St., Sunbury.

D. Conors is the communications officer for the American Post 201 in Sunbury.