American Legion Legacy Run rolls through Two Harbors
As the sky cleared and the afternoon storms moved out onto Lake Superior on Aug. 3, a different kind of thunder boomed through the streets of Two Harbors.
About 6 p.m. that day, more than 30 bikers rumbled down Seventh Street and came to a stop at the American Legion Post 109 as part of the annual American Legion Legacy Run to raise money for the children of veterans killed in action since Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Over two weekends each summer the past eight years, bikers from all over Minnesota pack more than 1,000 miles on their bikes into each weekend all while raising money for the American Legion Legacy Scholarships, said Steve Sullivan, American Legion Riders Legacy chairman.
The ride had been delayed by storms throughout the day as the riders moved in and out of a system throughout their ride that started in Onamia and traveled through Brainerd, Bovey and Virginia before heading to Two Harbors. The riders then rode on through Duluth and Cloquet before stopping for the night at Black Bear Casino and Resort in Carlton. The next day, the riders took off for another full day of riding that ended in Chaska and on Sunday visited the Minnesota Veterans Home in Hastings and ending in Delano.
After they got here, the riders were presented with a check for $100 from the Lake County Veterans' Service Office and others made cash or check donations while the riders spent about half an hour in Two Harbors.
Sullivan said more than 11,000 children are now eligible for the ALR Legacy scholarships and last year the event raised nearly $150,000 for the fund. In 2016 the Minnesota ALR passed the $1 million mark over the eight years the ride has taken place. Sullivan said the national goal is to raise more than $20 million for the fund and set up an endowment that will continue the scholarships for the foreseeable future. Sullivan said he wouldn't have a total for the ride until the tallies are announced later this month at the American Legion national convention in Reno, Nev.
The American Legion gave out 55 scholarships last year, each worth $20,000, to children of American service members killed in the past 16 years.
"All these people you see, they're doing it on their own dime," Sullivan said. "They pay for their own gas, their own hotels. All the money we get from the different Legions and people on the street, 100 percent of it goes in for the kids."