A fundraiser is slated this week that aims to help paralyzed veterans be more mobile.
The inaugural Mongo Ride will begin at 9 a.m. July 14. The 100-mile motorcycle ride around northeast Kansas begins at Ross’s 20th St. Bar & Grill in Leavenworth.
There will be a pre-registration bike night from 6-10 p.m. July 11 at the bar. Riders can also register on the day of the event.
Funds raised in the event go to a proposed vocational technical school in Kansas City, Missouri. The school is intended for military veterans to learn new technical skills for the workforce. At the school, veterans will build Mongo Chairs for Paralyzed Vets. The chairs are currently being manufactured in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“The chairs are amazing,” said Steven Beck, local organizer of the ride.
Entry fee for the ride is $40 per motorcycle. Beck said about 250 riders are expected to participate.
He said a fundraising goal of $10,000 has been set for the Mongo Ride. The event also will include drawings and raffles.
The National Marine Corps Business Network (NMCBN) has adopted Mongo Chairs for Paralyzed Vets as a charity.
The NMCBN is “dedicated to funding and delivering custom wheelchairs that bring freedom, independence and mobility” to paralyzed veterans, according to its website.
“We try to raise money for the chairs so paralyzed, deserving veterans don’t have to,” said Mark Holm, president of the NMCBN.
He said the chairs can go 25 mph, tow a U-Haul and stand a paralyzed person upright.
He said each chair costs $25,000. He said fewer than 50 such chairs are currently being used by paralyzed veterans.
Holm said the chair is an improvement over a former model of the chair called a tank chair.
“It’s a big improvement,” Holm said.
The benefit ride will replace another ride that originally was scheduled July 14 in Leavenworth. A Ride for the Wounded had been planned, but Beck said the local organization has focused its efforts this time on the Mongo Ride.
He said A Ride for the Wounded will host a fundraising ride in September to benefit Wreaths Across America.
For more information, call Beck at 913-683-4729.