2018 Hooked on Healing Ride Highlights

The following was taken from an article by Betsy of AZ Rider Motorcycle News, April 2018

The third annual Hooked on Healing Veterans Motorcycle Ride took place on Saturday February 24, 2018. The event was organized by the San Tan Crown Rotary Club of Chandler, AZ. Its purpose is to benefit those American Veterans who have returned from deployment and find themselves either homeless or injured and in need of physical, mental, or spiritual rehabilitation. My thanks to event organizer Stan Kaufman for your help with this story.

Sign-in was at Chandler Harley-Davidson, at 6895 W Chandler Boulevard. It was a chilly 35° that morning {unless you’re Canadian… then it was near zero ☺}. And that’s BEFORE adding in any wind chill factor. That being said, 60 hardy pilots + about 24 passengers signed up for the 120-mile ride.

The self-paced route stopped at VFW Post 9400 in Phoenix, then The Social Hall in Tempe for lunch; followed by an early afternoon pit stop at American Legion Post #44 in Old Scottsdale. The final stop and party was at the American Legion Post #35 in Chandler. Total distance this year was just under 80 miles. Stan noted that, “In our three years of riding our patrons have ridden over 26,400 miles accident free!!!” Well done!

At the stops each rider took a ‘selfie’ which had to include an identifiable interior or exterior image of the location. At the final stop they showed their photos and were dealt the cards. The winning hand took home $100. Worst hand winner collected $50 and contributed it all back to the cause. Activities at Post 35 included music by DJ Tyler Pham. C2Tactical had a training simulator at their booth. Stan noted that the Raffle Table was the hit of the day. There were 26 gifts valued at over $7,000! Plus, every 10 minutes from 2-4pm they gave away Door Prizes (total value over $700.) Nice!

The primary beneficiary of Hooked on Healing remains Phoenix Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing {PHWFF}. This organization is {from their website} “dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.” and “PHWFF has become recognized as an innovative leader and model in the field of therapeutic outdoor recreation for the disabled, through its successful application of the sport of fly fishing as a rehabilitation tool.”

I learned from Norm Johnson of Project Healing Waters that since its inception, more than 142 veterans in the Greater Phoenix area have participated in these programs. This program is far more than just taking a day to go out fishing. PHWFF reaches out to military personnel who are seeking ways to deal with their disabilities. Ongoing classes & activities provide confidence building, improved motor skills, camaraderie, & socialization. The program is free to participants and is funded by donations; including those by events such as the Hooked on Healing Ride.

Those who want to learn more about PHWFF should visit online at www.projecthealingwaters.org/ The secondary beneficiary this year was Fans Across America {https://fansacrossamerica.org/} I was curious that since the Healing Vets organization is Veteran oriented that a non-Vet cause was chosen as the secondary beneficiary. Stan’s answer made complete sense. The Hooked on Healing team was introduced to FANS through a fellow Rotary Club member. “Many of the homeless families and families in transitional housing that ‘Fans’ assists are post 9-11 Veterans. A significant number of these are down on their luck because of the ravages of PTSD.”

Stan shared that, “We will be able to distribute somewhat in excess of $13,000 to these two organizations this year. That certainly ‘bests’ last year at $9,400 and our first year at $2,700.” Outstanding!

When asked if the organizers have sponsors & supporters to thank Stan replied, “Many, but our principal sponsors are Lunde’s Peoria Volkswagen, The Safeway Foundation, and Western States Bank.”

He added, “We continue to be thrilled with the growing support we are garnering from the community, not only our corporate sponsors but all of those individuals and companies that donate time and goods and services on a ‘pro bono’ basis. The ride continues to grow in terms of economic impact: $2,700 in 2016, $9,400 in 2017, & $13,000+ in 2018. We are expecting similar growth next year … SAVE THE DATE FEBRUARY 23, 2019.”

Learn more about the Hooked on Healing programs at their website www.healingvets.org and follow the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealingVets/

To view photos from the event please click here!

Hooked on Healing Veterans Ride Update

Following a successful inaugural event this past February planning is now underway for our second annual “Hooked on Healing Veterans” ride scheduled for Saturday February 25th, 2017

Our inaugural ride was a success from a number of perspectives. Our 99 participants rode over 11,000 miles without incident which is remarkable. The food, weather, and camaraderie were all excellent. Over $7,200.00 of cash and prizes were given away during our final stop dinner and party! And, we experienced a surplus despite the high ‘first-year’ expenses incurred by rides like ours. Your support allowed us to distribute almost $3,000.00 to Arizona Stand Down and Phoenix Project Healing Waters. Well done and Thank You to all who supported us!

We have many new and EXCITING things planned for our second annual ride some of which include:

  1. We welcome KIMMYZ Bar & Grill and the American Legion Post #58 in Fountain Hills to our ride. KIMMYZ will host our first stop following registration and proprietor Kim O’Donnell is offering up a special early lunch special…. Stay tuned. American Legion Riders Post #58 are excited to host our fourth stop of the day. They have a lovely facility and are anxious to have us.
  2. Formation of THE HONOR CLUB which will allow riders, passengers, non-riders, as well as other interested individuals and teams the opportunity to collect pledges in support of the ride. Those qualifying by the amount of pledges collected will not only qualify for HONOR CLUB membership but also qualify for prizes and other recognition. Go to http://www.healingvets.org after January 1st 2017 and click on our HONOR CLUB link for full information as to how you and your friends can participate in the fun!!
  3. We are going to combine a Scavenger Hunt with our Poker Run, photography-based so bring your phones. This event promises to be a lot of fun and profitable for our winners!
  4. New this year! …. Early Bird On-line Registration prize draw …
  5. In addition to our very successful Raffle , new this year will be a Silent Auction during the hours prior to dinner at Post #35. Watch our Facebook [ Facebook.com/healingvets ] and this Newsletter for more news about some of the auction items!
  6. New vendors will have displays at Post #35 …. More news coming.
  7. Rider-Passenger SOUVENIR PHOTOS will be taken at registration and framed portraits will be available at the end of the ride. A wonderful souvenir of your gift to our veterans!
  8. More news coming regarding this year’s post-ride entertainment … watch our Facebook posts at Facebook.com/healingvets.

Our goals this year are [1] to increase ridership to 125 bikes, [2] to ride 15,000 miles accident free, [3] to increase our charitable contribution triple-fold, and [4] to have one heck of a lot of fun!

Please ‘Like’ us on Facebook and keep checking in at http:/www.healingvets.org under “Newsletter” for new stuff! You can contact us at mailto:[email protected]