by Lisa Tome
When George Remhof decided to start a campaign to bring new members into American Legion Post 194, he didn't want them to come in quietly.
Instead, he wanted them to ride into active membership with loud pipes and two wheels. More than two years ago, Remhof founded and now serves as director for the Post 194 Chapter of the Legion Riders.
"It formed to bring new people into the legion and attract younger members. It gives them a sense of belonging and helps out with membership," said Remhof.
`The motorcycle enthusiast faction of the legion also has revived patriotism. The 35 members of the group are responsible for placing the American flag array on East Main Street. The flags fly during various holidays - Memorial Day, July 4, Flag Day, and Veterans Day. The flags also serve as a fundraiser.
"People come by and take pictures of the flags," said Remhof. People can pay $10 and a tag is placed at the top of the flags. Those flags remember or honor a friend or family member who served in the military. The flags serve as a fundraiser for the Legion Riders. The group also puts money back into the community. Recently they donated $1,000 to the Rising Sun High School football team.
The Legion Riders also have other fundraisers. They sponsor a bike show to accompany the car show during Sunfest. They also host benefit poker runs and rides.
One of their fundraisers growing in popularity is the third Sunday of the month breakfast buffet. During every month except April, the riders host the event at the legion post. For $7 for adults, or $5 for children, there is a breakfast with eggs, toast, biscuits, gravy, pancakes, an assortment of breakfast meats and more. The breakfast proceeds also go back into the community.
"We try to support local veterans organizations or groups that support veterans. We provide housing, food, and clothing for vets at Perry Point," said Remhof. "The bikes are a means to an end to meet the needs of veterans."
The Legion Riders also help with Tuesday burger nights and Wednesday taco nights at the post. Remhof said the riders' help alleviates some of the burden on other legion members.