The Gold Star 500 is an endurance cycling event which honors the service and sacrifice of nearly 300 service members and servicewomen from Illinois who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan in honor of our great nation. The nearly 300 made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and aiding people of foreign lands, people they likely never knew or even met. They died so others could have a better life; their names must live on.
or Click HERE for the 2018 registration form.
Please mail the registration form to the address provided on the form or sign, scan and e-mail your registration form to [email protected].
- Nearly 300 Illinois sons and daughters in OIF, OEF, OND
- 500 miles through communities in which select Fallen Heroes lived, worked and served
On September 26, 2018, a team of cyclists will begin a 500-mile journey traveling through central and southern Illinois. This four-day journey will take them through many of the communities where the nearly 300 Fallen heroes served, including towns such as Paris, Effingham, Marion, and Edwardsville to name a few. The intent of this ride is to carry the torch of personal sacrifice in honor of these service members, to carry on their stories, their courage, and to honor the legacy of their names.
The very idea of cycling 500 miles in four days is difficult to comprehend fully, for each day, the riders will average 125 miles. The ride will be difficult and arduous. Each day the riders can expect to experience the extreme discomfort of cycling over great distances. However, this discomfort will be a reminder of the pain and suffering endured by the service members, the Gold Star families, their teammates, and their community. The rider’s pain will pale in comparison to the unimaginable pain felt by those who knew these Soldiers and Airman. However, our desire is for this ride to convey a message of self-determination, sacrifice, and resolution, representing, to a small degree, the spirit of those honored. The riders will start together, the riders will finish together, and the riders will experience pain and joy together, thus exemplifying the military mentality of teamwork.
This ride will raise funds through generous donations and use the funds to carry on the names and the stories of the fallen service members. We intend to help those in need, including the establishment of scholarship opportunities. What better way is there to preserve and honor the names of our fallen service members than through scholarships? These scholarships, named in honor of the fallen Soldiers and Airman, will assist Gold Star family members and will help others of whom they likely never knew, thus preserving their name forever, and showing the same act of compassion to others which their service exemplified.
From September 26-29, 2018, cyclists will participate in the second Gold Star 500 cycling event. Through generous donations, each rider will honor fallen service members killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. This ride will be a way of honoring the service members by assisting Gold Star families and others in need through scholarship opportunities. This ride will preserve the names of the fallen by honoring their service and sacrifice, for we must Never Forget.