(Beaver Dam) For the first in its nine-year history, the Patriot Tour will both begin and end in Beaver Dam. The Nation of Patriots coordinates the 110-day, 14,000-mile journey that sees multiple motorcycle riders carry one American flag, city-to-city, through all 48 continental states to raise money for veterans and their families. The ride had ended in Beaver Dam in the past, but until now a small contingent had always left the city for the official send-off site in Madison.
Organizer Wade Fletcher told us Thursday on WBEV’s Community Comment that Beaver Dam is now the official home of the Patriot Tour. The tour will launch from downtown Beaver Dam on Saturday, May 19 at 11am and return to Beaver Dam on Saturday, September 8; the tentative return site is Swan Park. Fletcher says the support from the city played a role in making Beaver Dam the official home of the Patriot Tour.
In 2017, the Patriot Tour raised just shy of $250-thousand dollars and Fletcher says 100-percent was used to assist 67 families from across the country, including ten in Wisconsin. Around 500 riders are expected to escort the flag from Beaver Dam to Fennimore, the first leg of this year’s Tour. Collectively, some 150-thousand riders are expected to participate in the Patriot Tour as it moves the flag throughout the country.
Riders interested in participating are encouraged to pre-register at www.nationofpatriots.org. Each rider is asked to make a $5 donation that will be used to augment funds raised throughout the Tour for distribution to the families of disabled veterans. Volunteers are needed for launch and homecoming festivities in many varied roles, Sherer said. Those interested in taking part can contact [email protected] More information, donor opportunities, photos, video and a complete Patriot Tour schedule can be found at http://www.nationofpatriots.com