Wednesday, October 7 , 2015, 1:12 pm | Fair 75º

Coast-to-Coast Charity Ride Honors Friend’s Legacy, Benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters

By Melinda Johansson for the Family Service Agency |

A Lompoc man is turning a personal tragedy into an opportunity to help young kids in our community.

Just a few months ago, Ken LeMoult learned that his best friend, John Dodge, had died suddenly from an undiagnosed cardiac condition. He was just 46.

After recovering from the shock, LeMoult decided to spend more time pursuing his passions, one of which is motorcycling. As a result, LeMoult decided to ride his motorcycle from Florida to Santa Barbara between April 5 and April 12, raising money and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Barbara County. And he’s doing it in Dodge’s memory.

“This ride means so much to me, beyond the benefit to Big Brothers Big Sisters,” LeMoult said. “It’s my way of honoring my friend and his love of mentoring by supporting an organization that helps children. Both John and I believe that young people from all walks of life are the very foundation and future of our country.”

LeMoult is a Raytheon Company Defense contractor working at Vandenberg Air Force Base and is a U.S. Marine officer. He is joined on the ride by his friends and co-workers Bert Waldron and Jim Hanley, both of whom are U.S. military veterans — Waldron in the Navy and Hanley in the Air Force.

The John Dodge Memorial Ride Across America began in Daytona Beach, Fla., on April 5 and will arrive in Santa Barbara this Saturday. A welcome home party open to the public is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at the entrance to the Santa Barbara Harbor (Shoreline Drive and Harbow Way), followed by a no-host reception at Endless Summer Bar-Café.

Follow the group’s journey on Facebook by clicking here. For more information or to make a donation, click here or call 805.965.1001 x256.

— Melinda Johansson is the development and marketing manager for the Family Service Agency.

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