The Geneva American Legion Post 68 (Fillmore County) Legion Riders Chapter hosted its first annual poker run on July 5. It started at the Geneva VFW, headed to Hastings, Grand Island, Hampton, Sutton and back to Geneva. The poker run was open to all vehicles.
Many area communities, businesses and members donated either prizes or gave a monetary donation.
The Chapter is proud to announce that the organization will donate $1,800 to the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. This fund was established in October of 2001 under the name of The American Legion September 11 Memorial Scholarship Fund. In May of 2003, the scholarship was changed to the American Legion Legacy Fund.
As an unfortunate consequence of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terror, many children of our active-duty military personnel are now members of single-parent families. Almost 7,000 service members have lost their lives since September 11, 2001. It is estimated that over 11,000 children have lost a parent in the war overseas and that number continues to grow each day.
The scholarships are available to high school seniors and high school graduates and they must be attending an accredited institution of higher education as a full time student. The scholarship funds must be used to defray the direct cost of education, room, board, books and fees. The students may re-apply annually for up to six years and payments are made to the student and the school jointly.
Every qualifying student who has applied has received scholarship funding. The principal amount of the fund is not used for the scholarships and continues to grow with each and every donation. The scholarships are funded by the interest.
The amount of aid and the number of awards depend upon the income derived from the trust. The first scholarship was awarded in 2004 and through 2013 there have been 127 scholarships awarded in the amount of $341,875. Last year, the State of Nebraska raised $26,045 and the total raised for the year nationally was $764,000, far beyond the goal of $450,000.
In March of last year, the Geneva American Legion Post No. 68 approached several motorcycle enthusiasts about forming an American Legion Riders Chapter in Fillmore County. The group started meeting and electing officers and on May 14, 2013, received recognition by the State American Legion as a chapter.
In January of 2014, the chapter received the official charter with 26 charter members. Today, there are 32 members in the organization. There are members from Bruning, Fairmont, Friend, Geneva, Ohiowa and Shickley Legion Clubs.
The American Legion Riders are a group of individuals that believe in the goals of the American Legion. The purpose of the American Legion Riders is to use their common interest and association to promote the aims and purposes of the American Legion as well as the promotion of motorcycle safety and awareness.
To become a member of the Legion Riders, you must be a Legion, Legion Auxiliary or Sons of American Legion member. The chapter decided to add a provision in the by-laws to allow for “Supporting Members”. These members believe in the American Legion, love to ride but do not have a family member that has served in the armed forces. Not only is this a group of motorcycle enthusiasts that love to ride, but they support local poker runs that are raising money for great causes.
The chapter, when asked, will help escort a deceased veteran to their final resting place and support the American Legion in anyway. Legion Riders Charters throughout the United States have teamed up with the Patriot Riders to help shield families of fallen soldiers from protest groups.