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Gold Star Mission 500 | Day 4 Recap Closing Ceremonies

 SEPTEMBER 24, 2017  BLOG

Day four… our final leg of the longest trek some of our riders have even been on, let alone for multiple days in a row. The consensus from many of…

Gold Star Mission 500 | Day 4 Recap Closing Ceremonies

Day four… our final leg of the longest trek some of our riders have even been on, let alone for multiple days in a row. The consensus from many of the riders was sadness that it was the last day, even thru the aches and pains they were having so much fun that the thought of it being over saddened them.

Starting the day with 417.4 miles down they left Kankakee, IL with only 4 stops before pulling into the closing ceremonies at Mount St. Mary’s Park in St. Charles. The above average heat that the state has been experiencing forced the route directors to add an additional stop, at the Heaps Giant Pumpkin Farm, for the safety of the riders. Once again our two support teams went above and beyond to have anything the riders could want to keep cool, hydrated and fueled so they could make it to the end safely.

At the lunch stop in Oswego, IL, which was the last stop before St. Charles, it was the last opportunity to get a picture of our whole group together. From riders to mechanical support, to Illinois State Police escort and SAG teams, they all became a big family over the duration of the ride. Then it was onto the final, final leg.

The closing ceremonies were attended by Gold Star families, rider families, local officials, veterans, and many more. The excitement the riders must have felt riding into the park toward the finish line is indescribable. The path was lined by attendees waving American flags and cheering them on. During the closing ceremonies, amount the speeches and thanks that were given, each name of the 34 fallen were called and the person that rode in their memory was able to hang a dog-tag with the fallen’s name on a battle cross, there was not a dry eye in the crowd.

As soon as the ceremonies were over the pack up began to get all the riders home, whether it be from their family that came up to cheer them on at the finish line or their one last chance to ride in one of the SAG vehicles all the way back to Springfield. While the packing took place there were plenty of ideas being thrown around of what’s next, another ride, or something al-together different, they can’t wait to do something bigger and better the next time around!

 

Gold Star Mission 500 | Day 3 Recap

 SEPTEMBER 23, 2017  BLOG

I apologize for the late updates as to how day three went. It was an extremely long, hot and grueling day for our riders, but the outpouring of support along…

Gold Star Mission 500 | Day 3 Recap

I apologize for the late updates as to how day three went.

It was an extremely long, hot and grueling day for our riders, but the outpouring of support along the route showed us all what we’re working so hard to do, which is to get the message and story of these 34 fallen out into the world. The riders had another early 0530 roll out time from Paris heading to finish the day in Kankakee. Along the ride we got to see Villa Grove school children lining the road to cheer us on as we ride past, were greeted with a much needed early morning snack from the Jessup family in Urbana, but for sure the best experience of the day was the escort and overwhelming turnout from the city of Paxton.

After Paxton the group stopped at the 33rd Division Memorial on Route 54, just outside of Roberts, to visit the memorial for all of the Gold Star members from the 33rd. The heat did have an effect on our riders so the rest stops were extended so make sure that they stayed hydrated and cool, we were lucky enough to have a couple fire trucks, from Paxton and Gilman, travel with us to stops to cool the riders off. Our arrival to Kankakee ran about an hour behind schedule but once we did get into town we met up with some Gold Star family members for a brief ceremony and dinner. Wake up call for Saturday morning was 30 mins later than any of the previous days of the ride so the riders head to St. Charles at 0600 for the end of ride ceremonies.

 
 

Gold Star Mission 500 | Day 2 Recap

 SEPTEMBER 22, 2017  BLOG

We have arrived in Paris, IL to end the second day of riding for the Gold Star 500. The riders have completed 273 miles of their 515 mile trip. The…

Gold Star Mission 500 | Day 2 Recap

We have arrived in Paris, IL to end the second day of riding for the Gold Star 500. The riders have completed 273 miles of their 515 mile trip. The temperatures spiked from the high 90s into the 100s while traveling on long open stretches of back country roads. A main priority for the SAG crews was to keep the riders hydrated and to give them a way to cool down at the rest stops. Once they arrived they made a quick change of clothes, to attend a couple of ceremonies tonight then get some down time to work on their bikes and any aches and pains before we head toward Kankakee, IL in the morning.


Gold Star Mission 500 | Day 1 Recap

 SEPTEMBER 21, 2017  BLOG

We have finished day one of the Gold Star Mission 500. The riders have completed 128.9 miles of the total 514.5 mile trip. We look forward to day two which…


VFW Post 10302 Contribution!

 MAY 10, 2017  BLOG

Gold Star Mission made a presentation before the membership of VFW Post 10302 in Springfield tonight. The members motioned that the post make a very generous contribution of $5,000 to…

VFW Post 10302 Contribution!

Gold Star Mission made a presentation before the membership of VFW Post 10302 in Springfield tonight. The members motioned that the post make a very generous contribution of $5,000 to our efforts. Thank you very much for assisting us in achieving this amazing goal. Never Forget!!


Our First Corporate Sponsor!

 APRIL 25, 2017  BLOG

GROWMARK of Bloomington, IL has expressed their interest in donating to our organization, becoming our first corporate sponsor! Please reciprocate the support by looking them up at http://www.growmark.com/Pages/default.aspx!


NGAI Conference

 APRIL 24, 2017  BLOG

The Gold Star Mission had the opportunity to set up a stand at the NGAI Conference and sponsor a hole at the NGAI Golf Outing. We were able to not only get our message…

NGAI Conference

The Gold Star Mission had the opportunity to set up a stand at the NGAI Conference and sponsor a hole at the NGAI Golf Outing. We were able to not only get our message out and increase our visibility, we also raised over $2,500 in food and merchandise sales!

OUR MISSION


The Gold Star Mission is a nonprofit organization that Honors and Supports Gold Star Families by preserving the memory of our Fallen Heroes through service to others in need.
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