Motorcycle ride raises funds for disabled veterans' homes
Daniel Varner traveled more than two hours to attend a motorcycle ride with more than 300 other people — all in the name of raising money for disabled veterans.
The 16th annual Bike Run to Benefit Homes For Our Troops, sponsored by Texas Roadhouse, began just after 10 a.m. Sunday, July 28, at the restaurant near the York Galleria mall.
Riders traveled about 30 miles to their destination at Battlefield Harley-Davidson in Gettysburg.
The ride generated funds that are slated to go toward the nonprofit Homes For Our Troops, an organization that, according to its website, builds specially adapted homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans.
"I've been looking forward to this for weeks," said Varner, a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. "Anything that can help vets, we're involved in."
Texas Roadhouse, the corporate sponsor for Homes For Our Troops, has been involved with the organization for 16 years. This year, the event raised more than $10,000.
"I cried about a million times," said event organizer Katherine Flinchbaugh. "I'm just so grateful that so many people are willing to come out and support the cause."
Last year, the event raised more than $13,000 and attracted about 180 motorcyclists.
Varner, of Montgomery, Lycoming County, said the Christian Motorcyclists Association branch in York invited his group to be part of the ride.
With family and friends who are veterans, Varner said this event is important to him.
"I feel that a lot of times our government neglects our vets," Varner said. "Young boys sign up, give their all for this country, and we turn around and we take away their health benefits."
More than 280 houses have been built by Homes For Our Troops, three of which are located in Pennsylvania, according to Flinchbaugh.
"It's part of our culture to take care of our veterans," she said. "These people are very near and dear to us."
— Reach Tina Locurto at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.