Did you see our procession of motorcycles last Saturday morning?
I hope so, because the Fifth Annual Ride For The National Veterans Wheelchair Games was a sight to behold, with its awesome law-enforcement escort, American Legion bikers, large flags, six motorcycle sidecars carrying disabled veterans, and the bevy of other veterans and non-veterans who participated in the ride on motorcycles or in cars.
Although the sky was grey/cloudy much of Saturday, luckily it didn’t rain on our parade. Some bikers were pleased we didn’t experience the 90 degree weather which had initially been forecast.
This year’s Ride took us through three counties.
The Ride started at Boerner Botannical Gardens in Whitnall Park.
The group then rode to Hal’s Harley-Davidson in New Berlin. At Hals Harley, we listened to the Bushwood rock band and consumed delicious pastries from Portabella (which was formerly Atlanta Bread in New Berlin). Coffee was provided by our city’s Starbucks. New Berlin Mayor Jack Chiovatero and Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas gave speeches to the crowd at Hal’s and both participated in the Ride.
We traveled to Sneezby’s Denoon Saloon for a pizza lunch and entertainment by Comedysportz.
Our Ride ended at the Botannical Gardens, where Bartolotta’s provided a pasta dinner and we listened to the Roadogz band. A raffle and auction was also held with items that included a Green Bay Packer’s autographed fooball, Bucks & Admirals tickets, Harley gear, jewelry, Fitness package, and more.
Kudos to Greg Grueneberg for this Ride/fundraiser. As its chief organizer/volunteer, he had devoted countless hours to this wonderful project.
Numerous people contributed to making this year’s Ride for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games fun, safe, and successful. Many volunteered their time and service. There were donations from several individuals and businesses. Special thanks to the Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Racine County Sheriff’s departments, New Berlin Police and the other municipal police departments that assisted us, and for the officials who took part in the Ride, including Mayor Chiovatero and County Executives Dan Vrakas (Waukesha Co.) & William McReynolds (Racine Co.).
The money generated from this event will help send Wisconsin paralyzed veterans to the 2010 National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which will be in Denver, Colorado.
The National Veterans Wheelchair Games are held annually. They are important, not only for the competition and camaraderie among the athletes, but for the positive message they convey that there is life after spinal cord injury.