33rd Recognition Ride declared a huge success.

Representatives from the Salute to American Veterans Rally committee presented a
check on Friday 4 September 2020 to Dan Williams, the Commander of Post 1980
American Legion in the amount of $5,200.00 in order to help support Teller County
Veterans. Due to an increased need on the front range this year by other organizations,
in part due to COVID 19 impacts, Teller County was not awarded anything for the
Veterans Trust Fund this year from the state. When coupled with the loss of revenue
due to cancelled events because of COVID-19, it has been challenging to help Teller
County Veterans in need.
The donation is a result of funds raised August 21st and 22nd during the 33rd annual
POW/MIA Recognition Ride, and the “Red Friday” T-shirt program, both launching in
Woodland Park.
The check comes on the heels of a $1,250.00 donation made to the Rifle Veterans
Living Center, a care facility for aging US Veterans. That donation came from the
Combat Veterans Motorcycling Association (CVMA) who held their 16th annual “High-
Altitude Poker Run” in Cripple Creek on August 21.
Dan Williams had this to say: “We are grateful to Jim Wear and the American Veteran’s
Rally committee for donating part of the proceeds from their ride directly to our Veteran
Community. We will use the money across the County working with the VFW and the
American Legion posts and other organizations that identify a need for our Veterans,
their families and their widows. The need is as great as ever and we will not break faith
with them.”
Jim Wear, founder and organizer of the annual Veterans weekend in Teller County said,
“We are honored to be able to support Teller County Veterans. This is why we do what
we do.” Wear added, “Let me be clear: the credit for the donation goes to all of the great
American Veterans and patriots who participated in Red Friday and rode on the POW /
MIA Memorial Highway for the 33rd Ride. These people are the heroes.”
The City of Cripple Creek ultimately canceled the annual Salute to American Veterans
Rally over concerns regarding crowd size, COVID-19 and the potential impact to its
casinos. A compromise was reached for the ride itself when the Rally Committee
announced that the Ride, Red Friday and the CVMA Poker Run would go on as
scheduled. Some have suggested that this was simply an attempt to usurp authority or
ride in protest. Wear sees it differently: “Power and control had nothing to do with our
decision. These fundraising activities are important. All of the permits were in place and
we had full cooperation from the community of Woodland Park.” Wear continued, “The
Ride and Rally are designed to support United States Veterans in many ways. With the
suicide rate amongst our Veterans on the rise, we were not going to miss any
opportunity for fundraising, camaraderie, healing and patriotism. Veterans of all ages

and from all conflicts need to understand that their service is appreciated, and that is
what we do. It is what we have always done.”
Contrary to what some feared, to date there have been no reported COVID cases as a
result of the weekend’s activities. Police reported no illegal or inappropriate behavior
and no protesters showed up to counter the patriotic efforts.
“It was a beautiful couple of days in Teller County and all of us appreciate the awesome
support from the Teller County Commissioners, the city of Woodland Park including City
Council, the Police Department, state troopers, and the school district, the Teller County
Sheriff‘s, the Colorado State Patrol and the North East Teller Fire Protection District.”
Wear added, “It takes a lot of people, a lot of planning and a lot of support to pull off
events like these with safety and integrity. Again, we are honored and humbled to play a
small part.”
For more information on participating, sponsoring or supporting any of next year’s
activities, contact the organizers at 719-487-8005.