HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (8/2/17) -- When members of the Veterans Charity Ride roll into Hot Springs on Friday, they will be greeted by some familiar faces. For the second year, Southern Hills Economic Development, the Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance and the city of Hot Springs will welcome the riders on their first night in the Black Hills.
The Veterans Charity Ride began Friday in Los Angeles. Twenty wounded and amputee veterans, along with volunteers and a support team, are traveling by motorcycle, trike and sidecar to the Sturgis Rally. Among the riders will be Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime honorees Neil Frustaglio and Josh Stein. The men each lost both legs while serving in Iraq.
The ride is a form of motorcycle therapy, and it brings attention to America’s wounded warriors. Supporters include actor Mark Wahlberg, comedian Jay Leno and Indian Motorcycles. Rushmore Region Economic Development is also a sponsor of the charity ride, and Hot Springs is a natural destination for the veterans.
“With the Veterans Affairs facility and the South Dakota State Veterans Home both in Hot Springs, we well know the sacrifices that our soldiers have made,” said Andrea Powers, executive director of the Southern Hills Economic Development Partnership. “It will be an honor to host these soldiers.”
The group is expected to arrive in Hot Springs from Denver late Friday afternoon, and they will attend a dinner in their honor at the Hot Springs American Legion Hall that evening.
“We are thrilled to be working with Rushmore Region, Southern Hills Economic Development again this year. Rolling into Hot Springs, aka ‘Veterans Town’ as our last stop before the iconic Sturgis Bike Rally is just icing on the cake,” Veterans Ride organizers said on the group’s website. “The town has been supporting our veterans for over 100 years. We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to start the ultimate Sturgis experience than right here in Hot Springs.”