SIERRA VISTA — Nearly 200 motorcyclists, many American Legion Riders, participated in a charity ride Saturday that benefited three local nonprofits.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office 2019 Charity Ride, now in its seventh year, benefited Border Animal Rescue, Civil Vision Warrior Healing Project and the Willcox Quarterback Club, with each nonprofit receiving $10,000.
“We got amazing support from our sponsors,” said CCSO spokeswoman Carol Capas. “All money raised from this event goes to the charities. American Southwest Credit Union (ASCU) fronts the operating costs for this, so 100 percent of the money collected goes right back to our communities for the charities.”
The three nonprofits were selected through an application process, said Capas, who added that different charities are selected by a committee every year after reviewing the applications.
“This year’s recipients represent three very different charitable organizations in that we have animals, veterans and kids benefiting from the event,” Capas said. “The nonprofits must be able to demonstrate that they are an asset to their community through the application process. A committee then selects the three organizations to receive the award.”
Saturday marked the fourth year that the sheriff’s office partnered with ASCU for the event. “We appreciate the sponsor support, the riders, the volunteers, the raffle donations, and everyone who comes together to make this event possible,” she said.
Participants gather at the credit union on the morning of the ride and get checked in. They are given tickets which they get punched at each stop they make on a route that loops through Sierra Vista, Tombstone, Gleeson, Bisbee and then back to Sierra Vista. There are six stops on the route and riders are required to get a minimum of four punches to qualify for a ride pin. They collect charity ride dollars along the way and exchange them for raffle tickets, with raffle prizes on display at ASCU.
“I’ve been participating in this ride every year since they started it,” said Jose Calderon, a member of the American Legion Riders Post 52 out of Sierra Vista. “It’s grown a lot since it started. The first year, we had about 70 riders, and now there’s somewhere around 200.”
Former Sierra Vista resident David Scott, who now lives in Yuma, made the trip to Sierra Vista to join his friends on the ride.
“I worked for the City of Sierra Vista for 15 years before moving to Yuma,” he said. “I like coming here to see friends and supporting good causes.”