Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Riding for vets and kids

Motorcyclists end long journey at Sun Valley Resort

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Resort welcomes “British Invasion” motorcyclists on Friday, July 15. The bikers arrived from a five-day journey from Vancouver, B.C., ending in Sun Valley with a benefit concert at the Sun Valley Pavilion to raise money for veterans in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as British children in distress. Photo by Willy Cook

On Friday, July 15, a group of motorcyclists rolled into Sun Valley Resort on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles to end a five-day journey that started in British Columbia, Canada.

The riders were part of a charity ride for ChildLine Rocks, and were here to benefit armed forces veterans returning to civilian life, including Sun Valley Adaptive Sports "Higher Ground" program in the U.S., as well as for veterans in Canada and the United Kingdom. ChildLine is the United Kingdom's free, 24-hour helpline for children in distress or danger.

Motorcyclists included band members of Thunder and The Union, who performed a benefit concert with Marina V at the Sun Valley Pavilion on Saturday, July 16.

"We think we raised about 30,000 pounds," said Thunder and The Union band member Danny Bowe. "Idaho is a feast for the eyes. We did get lost twice, even with all the British infantry we had on the trip."

The Harley Davidson charity motorcycle ride of more than 1,400 miles was completed by 21 riders, who included CEOs, veterans, rock 'n' roll band members and Brigadier Richard Dennis.

Dennis is the bridge between business and the military, and assists soldiers with lifetime training beyond the military.

"There is a rich pool of talent we are offering to companies," Dennis said. "It's going well."

The ride also included CEO Hugh Andrée, of the London-based company ForceSelect, which specializes in recruitment for men and women leaving the armed forces. Dennis is part of the senior management team of Force Select. In addition, ForceSelect helps raise money for charity organizations involved in helping veterans.

"We've helped 230 people find jobs with long-term career possibilities," Andrée said.

Andrée met Daryl Clark, founder of ChildLine Rocks, and the two men wanted to combine their efforts to help veterans and children in the U.S., Canada and England. The benefit motorcycle ride and concert was a result of Clark and Andrée's desire to raise money for their organizations.

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