Micky Hernandez once rode down Highway 87 on a motorcycle dressed as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. It wasn’t as much about showing off his Christmas spirit as it was about doing it for a good cause.
Hernandez is the director of the American Legion Riders in Navarre and the group puts a lot of emphasis on helping children any way possible. And as silly as dressing up like a famous reindeer may seem, it was well worth it.
“We did a Ride for Santa Claus this past Christmas for needy and underprivileged children, taking donations, be it money or gifts,” Hernandez said. “One rider was dressed like Santa and I was dressed like Rudolph. We rode down the road and people took notice, taking pictures and everything.”
The Christmas Ride was a hit for the Legion riders and something ALR secretary Diane Bence hopes to see become an annual event.
It’s one of the many ways the ALR give back to others. The program is nationwide and started in 1993 at a post in Michigan. More than 1,800 chapters of it exist now. The Navarre chapter saw its membership grow from 35 to 83 this past year. There are approximately 110,000 riders across the country.
“We are here to promote the pillars of the American Legion, which are helping veterans, helping the community and helping children,” Hernandez said. “The rider group is the most visible part of the Legion. We get out there as much as possible, generating interest in our group and the Legion itself.”
The riders have raised more than $4,000 last year and have already raised more than $3,000 this year.
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