In keeping with the group’s commitment to advocating patriotism and devotion to fellow service members, American Legion Post 51 in Fulton is supporting efforts to start an American Legion Riders (ALR) chapter.

Legion member Nick Dye is heading the endeavor to get the group organized.

“The Post agreed to support our efforts,” Dye said. “Right now we’re just trying to get the word out to see how many people are interested in joining.”

Founded in 1993 by a handful of motorcycle enthusiasts and veterans, the American Legion Riders now boasts more than 110,000 members in over 2,000 chapters across the nation. Besides their charitable organization efforts, members of the ALR escort military units returning home from combat tours overseas.

“You must be a member of the American Legion to be a part of the Riders, that includes the American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of the American Legion,” Dye said.

In addition to being a member, individuals must own, individually or through marriage, a motorcycle licensed and insured as required by state law.

All ALR members must strive to maintain the image of The American Legion, upholding their name and emblem, which symbolizes the integrity and principles of the organization.

The perception of being a “motorcycle club” or “biker club” is something that chapters try to avoid. Fundraising for worthy causes are at the top of their agenda. ALR chapters across the nation have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for children’s hospitals, veterans’ homes, wounded service members and scholarships.

“Raising money for organizations will be our primary focus,” Dye added. “If you’re interested in joining, that’s a big part of it.”

Since 2006, Riders nationwide have taken part in The American Legion Legacy Run annually to raise money for the Legacy Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for children of U.S. military personnel killed since September 11, 2001.

Dye said there will be many opportunities to take part in charitable efforts, including the Legacy Run. The nearest ALR chapter is based in Corinth.

“We want folks from the surrounding counties to know they are welcome to join us,” Dye noted. “We hope to get the word out to everyone who may be interested.”

ALR chapters are managed at the post level.

For more information, contact American Legion Post 51 at 662-862-2841 or Nick Dye at 256-324-2240 from 6 until 9 p.m.

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