9/9/17 – A ceremony will be held in Beaver Dam this afternoon to celebrate the end of a summer-long fundraiser for veterans. The Patriot Tour for the non-profit Nation of Patriots wraps up today. On Memorial Day weekend, a single United States flag departed from Madison. That flag spent the summer being transferred from one motorcycle rider to another, covering 14-thousand miles and stopping in each of the lower 48 states over 110 days. A fundraiser was held at each stop to raise money for local veterans. Organizer Wade Fletcher says there are way too many of our military veterans and their families who are suffering. He says so many of our vets do not have the means to get the medical treatments they need or the means to provide for their families in a manner that would have been able to had they not served our country and suffered a setback. Fletcher says we are free to ride motorcycles and do the things we do because of sacrifices that our veterans have made and the Patriot Ride is a small opportunity for us to give back. Motorcyclists are encouraged to gather at Hogz and Honeez outside Beaver Dam this morning, where a contingent will leave for Madison at 10am. The flag’s final transfer will be made around 11am at Reverend Jim’s Roadhouse. The group is expected to return to Beaver Dam around 2pm and a parade of motorcycles five miles long will file through the city’s downtown and along Highway 33 to the Dodge County Fairgrounds. This year’s closing ceremony will be held at the Radio Park stage at 3pm. Fletcher says there will be 57 flags joining the single US flag as the procession heads to the fairgrounds. That includes flags representing all five branches of service, the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, the Nation of Patriots and all 50 states. Last year’s Patriot Tour’s raised roughly $193-thousand dollars. The last tally going into today’s finale was $170-thousand dollars and the goal is to reach the $200-thousand-dollar mark. Fletcher says zero dollars are used for administrative costs in the all-volunteer organization and 100-percent of what is raised goes to wounded veterans in need.