“Leave no man behind”, is a motto that our military has always tried to uphold. This philosophy as well as legion posts lacking enough members to form a full chapter, is the motivation for forming the Tazewell County American Legion Riders. We are an effort to unite and combine the forces of all the Legion Riders in the Tazewell County area that don’t have a full group, as well as any other Legion Riders in the Central Illinois region.
Our current members of the TCALR are from various posts throughout Central Illinois. They are proud to be part of a solid group of bikers dedicated to family, camaraderie, and supporting local veterans and their families both past and present. We welcome any Legion Rider (as well as anyone who qualifies to be a Legion Rider) that would like to be a part of cause greater than themselves, the support of our veterans.
To be an American Legion Rider you must be a member of the American Legion, Auxiliary, or Sons of the American Legion, be in good standing, and own a motorcycle 500cc’s or larger.
TCALR participates in the Legacy Scholarship Run as well as hosting the R.E.D. Ride and HAWKS ride, also participating in many other events in the Illinois region that either directly benefit or supports local veterans and their families. Throughout the year you can find us assisting the local Patriot Guard with Honor Missions, and showing support for the local Honor Flights.
Being a member of the TCALR, you can be proud to be part of the network of American Legion Riders chapters that are well known for their charitable work, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local children's hospitals, schools, veterans homes, severely wounded service-members and scholarships.
Since 2006, Riders nationwide have participated in the Legion Legacy Run, to annually raise money for the Legacy Scholarship Fund, established to provide scholarships to children of U.S. military personnel killed since Sept. 11, 2001.
In Garden City, Mich., in 1993, Chuck "Tramp" Dare and Bill "Polka" Kaledas, commander of American Legion Post 396, shared an idea to start a motorcycle enthusiasts association within the organization. The two longtime riders wanted an environment where Legion family members could come together to share a common love for motorcycles.
Dare and Kaledas wrote a letter to Michigan Department Adjutant Hubert Hess, sharing their idea. Hess replied that he liked the concept and wanted to pursue it. Later, he gave Kaledas and Dare instructions for managing the program at the post level. He also explained how they could be approved to use the American Legion emblem, and how to gain Membership's support and recognition. At a regular meeting, Post 396 members passed a resolution for a new program to be known as the "American Legion Riders."
Joined by 19 other founding members from their post, Dare and Kaledas were flooded with requests for information about their organization. They agreed to establish a central source for the Riders to ensure that chapters formed not as motorcycle clubs or gangs, but as Legionnaires and Auxiliary and SAL members joining to ride as Legion family.
Currently, 106,000 American Legion Riders meet in over a thousand chapters in every domestic department and in at least three foreign countries. Riders in Iowa have formed an honor guard called The Five Star Freedom Riders, and Riders in Mulvane, Kan., founded the Patriot Guard to protect the sanctity of military funerals from protesters. Riders in all states have escorted military units returning home from combat tours overseas, conducted massive cross-country fundraising events for wounded warriors from all services, and have raised millions of dollars for countless local, state and national charities.
Tazewell Riders would like to remind everyone that Friday is R.E.D. Shirt Friday (Remember Everyone Deployed). So be sure to wear a red shirt on Fridays to show you are remembering our troops that are deployed.
And as always, we thank all of our troops (past, present, and future) for their service.
PO Box 1274
Pekin, IL 61554