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First annual Armed Forces Appreciation Bike Run held to support local veterans

First annual Armed Forces Appreciation Bike Run held to support local veterans
Published: May. 21, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - In Springfield, a bike run was held in honor of Armed Forces Day.

Bikers traveled all across western Massachusetts to raise funds to help one local organization that provides free food for local veterans.

Dozens of bikers gathered at the Springfield Empowerment Center located at the Eastfield Mall for the first-ever Armed Forces Appreciation Bike Run on Saturday.

“I’m always looking to support fellow military veterans in the area,” said Don Durand of American Legion Post 275.

Volunteer Rose Ladue told Western Mass News the organization put this event together to raise funds that will help support their programs, which provide resources for local veterans.

“It’s very hard for them to make ends meet with everything rising, gas costs, so we are giving them an opportunity to come in once a week and get free food,” Ladue said.

Local veterans can stop by at their storefront located inside the Eastfield Mall and fill up a grocery cart with necessities.

“We have frozen food, we have dairy, we have cereals, stable foods, pantry style, some health and beauty aids,” Ladue told us.

The bikers participating in the run traveled all across western Massachusetts with a celebration at the end.

“We’re going to ride through Ludlow, Belchertown, Palmer, Monson, Wilbraham into Springfield,” Ladue said, “and we are going to end at Nathan’s Bills for an after-party.”

While the event organizers said this was the first run, they do hope to have it on a yearly basis.