More than 100 patriotic bikers participated in the first benefit run to honor fallen police officers on Sunday. The Legion Riders of American Legion Post 264 in Tonawanda hosted their first Badge of Honor Association benefit run. It left from the American Harley Davidson in North Tonawanda at noon.
Jim Koch, Erie County Chapter of Badge of Honor Manager, and Justin Collins, Badge of Honor Association President, both held up their bracelet with the number '11' printed on it. “It's each officer in the past seven years who were killed in the line of duty, that's who we're representing,” Koch said.
The bikers paid respect to the challenges that Law Enforcement men and women experience on a daily basis.
“As bad as things get for law enforcement there are still men and women every day that go out, put their lives on the line, leave their families and go out and protect communities we live in, so when you see things like this - it’s just awesome,” Collins said.
Registration for the event was $10 per rider and $10 per passenger. Proceeds from the fundraiser are benefiting the Badge of Honor Association and Buddy’s Second Chance Rescue in Kenmore. The Badge of Honor Association is a non-profit that honors the men and women in Law Enforcement who sacrificed their lives. Buddy’s Second Chance Rescue is also an non-profit for foster-based dog rescues in Western New York.
“When you look around and see how many have sacrificed their lives it kind of rings home; what they do and what they live with and go through and the family losses as well,” Tom Barden, Legion Post 264 Chaplain, said.
The group ended their ride at the American Legion Post 264, 43 Main St., Tonawanda.