I’ve been riding motorcycles since I bought a Harley in 2003. There’s nothing like it! After the last day of an LCT convention in Las Vegas in 2014, Chuck Sutton from Sutton Limousine, and I decided to get out of the smoky casino and rent Harleys. We rode out into Red Rock Canyon, and later posted pictures. Many fellow industry friends contacted me saying they wanted to do a big ride after the following year’s Vegas event, and I decided I wanted to make it a charity event.
After some deliberation, I called a few close friends - Lynda Saitta, Mike Callahan, Ron Stein, and David Eckstein, and asked them to be on the Board with me. We saw a wonderful opportunity to raise money for a good cause while enjoying our ride, and thus, Driving for Change, LLC and the Limo Patriot Ride were born.
Our next task was to choose an organization to donate to. We chose the Semper Fi Fund because they have a stellar track record as an organization – they really care about the veterans they work with. Helping veterans is very near and dear to my heart because my father was a Marine. He was always intensely patriotic and extremely loyal. I imagine he would have been a great Marine to train with and fight beside. When I was just a little guy, my dad raised chickens, and one day the rooster decided to go after my big sister, Heather, who was only about 4 or 5 herself. As the story goes, my dad ran down that rooster, tied it up by its feet, and… let’s just say we had chicken for dinner. You didn’t mess with Ian Campbell!
Our first official ride in 2015 was such a success. We raised $15,000 for the Semper Fi Fund. This year was our second annual event in Vegas and we were able to raise $25,000, which was given to Sgt. Joseph Perez, a wounded veteran who proudly served in the Marine Corps as an infantryman and recruiter who reached the rank of Sergeant. After the Marines, he went on to work in Federal Law Enforcement. Post-9/11, Sgt. Perez joined the Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. Sgt. Perez was kind enough to come to our pre-ride party, as well as the ride itself. His story of how Semper Fi Fund saved his life, and his overall presence at this year’s event was incredibly inspiring. You can read his story by clicking here.
The success of our event couldn’t be possible without our sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Our 2016 event welcomed about 30 sponsors, 7 people working continuously over several months, and an additional 8 volunteers during the event itself. For the past 2 years we have been fortunate enough to have secured special deals with Eagle Rider. Looking to the future, the renting process for the event in 2017 will be more streamlined for our riders and volunteers by renting from the brand new Harley Davidson dealership, which is right on the strip!
This is a great group, amazing ride, and it supports an awesome cause. Our goal is to increase the amount we are able to donate to the Semper Fi Fund and to increase ridership. We are welcoming volunteers and participants, so mark your calendar March 16, 2017. We ride again!
For a list of this year's sponsors, click here.