Department of Florida

From the Chairman

Legion Riders

Jim Wineland, American Legion Riders Chair

We started the month by being invited to Tampa for the Division 6 baseball playoffs. What a great experience we rode down to Tampa and was asked to throw out the first pitch for one of the playoff games. When I was asked to throw out that first pitch, I hadn’t handled a baseball for 40 years. When one of the neighbors found out, he felt my pain, and we played catch for a couple of days. Matter a fact, one of the Legion Riders from my post home came down for the sole purpose of videoing the throw as many bet I couldn’t make it over home plate. Well as things worked out, the starting time for the game was moved up to avoid the rain, and I missed that first pitch. Now, we will never know if I could do it. So much for the video!

I want to thank Andy Burkett, our Baseball Chair, and his team for the great opportunity he gave American Legion Riders. He allowed about 40 bikes out on the field to acknowledge our support of Legion Ball. I believe just about all the Chapters in Southwest Florida were represented on the field. It was an excellent day for Legion Baseball and the American Legion, thanks, Andy!
It’s confirmed, I think I mentioned the possibility of an event with the Jacksonville Iceman, an NHL minor league hockey team owned by a team in Canada. We had our first meeting last Friday. What they offered is almost unbelievable. They play at the Jacksonville Veterans Arena and offered to donate the net proceeds for their final season game to the ALR and more.
In our Chairman’s meeting at our last Convention, we vote on any donation from this event would be donated to our Department Commanders charity Project Vet Relief. Well, it’s also grown from what we thought it would be. They are offering one of the parking lots for an end of the season tailgate party where anything goes. We are thinking live bands, vendors and maybe a big sponsor to help with the expenses. We will keep you posted on our progress. Oh, mark your calendars, it’s Saturday, March 28th, 2020.

Some dates to save for 2020: Summit will be at the same location from February 6th through the 8th. Here is the link to book your room, American Legion Riders – Book Your Discounted Rate Here! We are reviewing the agenda now and modifying it to include your ideas, as noted in the Summit Survey.

We are trying something new with the Unity Ride next year. We will have two rides scheduled at the same time, one coming out of the Panhandle and the other starting at Post 154 in Marathon. The meet and greet will be on April 26th at Post 154 in Marathon, and the Panhandle M&G is yet to be determined.

The actual Unity Ride will start on Monday, April 27th and end on May 1st followed by our Rally on Saturday in the Kissimmee area. Net proceeds will go to PVR as always, and the “Round Robin” will be extended to include May 2.

Don’t miss it, “Coral-Head Music-Festival and their new concert this year in England Bros, Pinellas Park, November 2-3. Their events support Project Vet Relief. Make sure you get it on your calendar. If you want to volunteer, Call Rich at 305 942 9862.

Once again, Thank You for what you do, and I am proud to be the Chairman of such a great group!

Jim Wineland
American Legion Riders

“For the Cause, not the applause.”