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Northwest Iowa American Legion Riders Help Victims' Families

Local American Legion Riders are holding a fundraiser Sept. 25, 2010 to help the families of four men. Military veterans and American Legion Riders Steven Benscoter, Dale Aspedon and Dennis Chaney, and Patriot Guard Rider Jay Bock were killed August 9th when a vehicle swerved into their lane near the Little Sioux River interchange on Interstate 29 south of Sioux City, just minutes after a 911 call reported a pickup truck driving erratically.

The American Legion Riders (ALR) are veterans or members of the Legion Auxiliary or Sons of the American Legion. The group raises funds to help people in need, assist with veterans' funerals and raise awareness of veterans' issues. The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) have no membership requirements, but are supporters of veterans and often provide escorts and hold flag lines for military funerals alongside the ALR.

Aspedon, 49, served in the Navy. Benscoter, 62, served 20 years in the Air Force, and Chaney, also 62, was a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. All three belonged to the Western Iowa American Legion Riders Chapter, based in Glenwood, IA. Bock, 48, who was Aspedon's cousin, was involved with Habitat for Humanity and the Iowa PGR.

"These four men were very involved, very active," said Northwest Iowa chapter American Legion Rider President Tommy Even of Alton, IA. The Marine Corps veteran continued, "We can't imagine how a tragedy like this must impact their families, their communities. It's a tremendous loss."

The Northwest Iowa chapter of the ALR, based in Le Mars, IA, decided to hold a poker-style motorcycle run to raise funds for the families of the fallen men. "These are tough people," commented Even, "they would never ask for money. But we want to make sure they have help if they need it!"

The fundraiser will begin at the Ickey Nickle, 4700 41st Street, Sioux City, IA (on Highway 75 North). Sign-in for the event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 25th. The route will swing through several towns south and east of Sioux City, pausing at Leather 'n Hawgs in Hornick, IA to enjoy local Sioux City musicians Hippie Go Luck, before heading back to the Ickey Nickel. Food will be generously provided by the Ickey Nickel at the end of the run. There will be no prizes awarded -- ALL the money will go to the cause -- but there will be a silent auction at the Ickey Nickel. The run is open to all vehicles.

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