LI ABATE Vets Run

Long Island ABATE’s Annual Veterans Appreciation Run to Montauk Raises $60,000!

Story by Nancy Greenseich, Long Island ABATE 2nd Vice President

Photos by Sonny McKuskie, Cowboy

 

Long Island ABATE held their annual Veterans Appreciation Run to Montauk on Sunday June 11th, 2017. Motorcyclists, members and supporters of Long Island ABATE came from all over to participate in this annual event.  A brief ceremony was held at the Riverhead Elks Lodge #2044, which included the Sea Cadets of Farmingdale, the Riverhead Color Guard and Meagan Schmid singing the National Anthem along with a morning prayer.  Suffolk County Legislator, Sarah Anker, joined in and presented Long Island ABATE with a proclamation.  Leading the ride as the Grand Marshal was television and film star Lorenzo Lamas.  Joining him was Ron Starrantino and The Harley Twins, as well as, Fingers from WBAB.

With the help of volunteers guarding the roads, including the 14.5 MC, Suffolk County Park Rangers, Riverhead, Southampton and Easthampton Police Departments, Long Island ABATE’s Ride Captain Joe Pizzo, took more than 500 motorcycles and a few chase vehicles on a scenic ride to Montauk.

While going through Sag Harbor, the Leathernecks MC, US Marine Corps Veterans Color Guard, and friends and family of JoAnn Lyles stood on the Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter Bridge with their flags flying.  JoAnn Lyles is Jordan’s Mom.  Lance Corporal Haerter was killed in Ramadi, Iraq on April 22, 2008 at the age of 19. He, along with Corporal Jonathan Yale of Meherrin, Virginia are credited with saving the lives of 33 Marines and over 50 Iraq Police when they shot and killed a suicide bomber, who was racing towards their compound with a dump truck loaded with high explosives.  The Sag Harbor Fire Department displayed a huge flag draped over the highway that every motorcyclist rode under.

Once everyone arrived at the Suffolk County Park in Montauk, they were greeted by the 42nd Infantry Division Band, whose members traveled from all over Long Island, out of state and upstate to play.  This year’s flag ceremony also included dedicating the event to the American Legion Riders of different posts.  Bill Quinn, the chairperson for this event as well as a USMC Veteran, with the help of volunteers, handed out various flags from different branches and wars.  Afterwards, he thanked everyone for coming out and asked everyone to join in on the hill to sing God Bless America.

Before the day even started, from the beginning of the year, a donation bucket had been available at every Long Island ABATE general meeting and booths at different events.  Every month, money had been collected for the Veterans.  To date, over $90,000 has been raised thanks to the generosity of everyone who has participated in this event.   On Wednesday June 14th, Mike Osip and the Riverhead Polish Hall hosted a Salute to our Veterans Steak Dinner/Flag Day Celebration and donated the 50/50 proceeds to Long Island ABATE.

Thanks to Ron Monteleone, Joe (Cowboy) Cuminale, Jack Monti Jr, Greg Sheridan and Gayle  Mastromonico for taking all the wonderful pictures.

On Tuesday October 10th, 2017, Long Island ABATE will be having a special dinner ceremony.  Every dollar raised from the 2017 Veterans Appreciation Run to Montauk will be distributed to local Veterans organizations, groups and clubs on Long Island.

If you are interested in making a donation towards this cause, that will be quadrupled, you can go on our website at www. longislandabate.org to make an online donation.  Please call 1-888-LIABATE for more information.