Fans of America's veterans and the television show Sons of Anarchy have a special opportunity this weekend to ride along with the show's stars while supporting the Boot Campaign, a national non-profit dedicated to helping the men and women of the armed forces transition back into life.
The Boot Ride starts at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in Long Beach and is open to 500 riders to ensure a more intimate experience for participants. The cast of Sons of Anarchy join the ride, which ends at a rally and concert near Hollywood, after the start. In the last two years, the Boot Ride has raised more than $100,000 and supported veteran housing and jobs in Southern California.
"The Boot Campaign began in 2009 as a way to express gratitude for those who serve," said Meghan McDermott, Director of Communications for the Boot Campaign. "Since then it has grown into a national nonprofit that cultivates awareness, promotes patriotism and provides assistance to military, past and present, and their families."
The Boot Girls, five working women from Texas, started the Boot Campaign as a way to encourage their fellow Americans "to get their boots on" for the country's troops. In 2010, the cast of Sons of Anarchy offered their support, and a year later members of the show and the Boot Girls inaugurated "The Boot Ride" as a way to marry a love of motorcycles and the open road, with their patriotism.
"It was much of the cast's desire to go beyond just getting their 'boots on' for a photo shoot," McDermott said. "They sincerely wanted a way to raise more awareness and support for our troops and their families."
There's still time to register but the Boot Ride is expected to sell out by the end of the week. If you miss your chance to register or don't ride, members of the public can join the fun and cause by attending the rally held at the Happy Ending Bar and Restaurant, 7038 W. Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.
"It's literally like nothing you've ever experience," McDermott said. "We bring our Texas charm to Southern California and put on an intimate event that is all about celebrating those who serve, and have served, and the cast from one of the biggest shows on television is right there in the mix."
Other Rides Scheduled this Weekend
Kingdom Thunder August 24: One of the most beautiful rides in Vermont, Kingdom Thunder benefits the Orleans/Essex Visiting Nurse and Hospice. Kickstands up at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Burke Mountain Resort, 223 Shermurne Lodge Road in East Burke, VT.
Ride for the Fallen August 24: A 130-mile charity ride for those who have fallen and have yet to return. Register online or in person at 8 a.m. Saturday at Elk Ridge Park, 1100 E. 2500 N. in North Logan, UT. Kickstands up at 10 a.m.
Johnson County Sheriff's Ride August 24: This 8th annual poker run benefits several charities in Johnson County, IN. Register in person from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Wal-Mart, 2125 N. Morton St in Franklin, IN. Kickstands up at 10:30 a.m. and yes, of course, there is a police escort.
Hearts Can Heal Charity Ride August 24: Proceeds from this ride benefit Olivia's House, a grief and loss center for children coping with the death of a loved one. Registration is from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Winebrenner's American Motorcycle Sales and Service, 50 N. Forney Ave. in Hanover, PA.
Ride Because You C.A.R.E. August 24: Support the C.A.R.E. center in Waukesha, WI by joining this 3rd annual ride. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and kickstands up at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hal's Harley-Davidson, 1925 S. Moorland Rd. in New Berlin, WI.
Officer Jason Ellis Benefit Poker Run August 24: This ride benefits the family of Jason Ellis, a Bardstown, KY police officer killed in the line of duty in May. Registration is from 8 to 190:30 a.m. at Joe Hill's Victory, 103 S. Salem Dr in Bardstown, KY.
CURE Poker Run August 25: This ride benefits CURE Childhood Cancer Association. Registration is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday at the Rush Creekside Inn, 6071 E. Henrietta road in Rush, NY.
Ride for Kids August 25: Ride for Kids benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and features numerous rides throughout the country during the year. This weekend kickstands are up in North Carolina and Michigan.