Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 6:52 am | Fair 50º


Orcutt American Legion Feeds Ride 2 Recovery Participants

Program helps wounded warriors regain hope and purpose, organizers say

Wounded veterans stopped for lunch in Old Town Orcutt on Thursday as the Ride 2 Recovery made its way through Santa Barbara County. Click to view larger
Wounded veterans stopped for lunch in Old Town Orcutt on Thursday as the Ride 2 Recovery made its way through Santa Barbara County. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

As one group of bicyclists finished lunch in Old Town Orcutt, the American Legion’s Dennis Maher became emotional while talking about the wounded warriors his group fed again.

Participants in Ride 2 Recovery — a program founded in 2008 to help wounded warriors through cycling while restoring hope and purpose — rolled into northern Santa Barbara County on Thursday, stopping for lunch in Old Town Orcutt.

“Because you look at the kids and how much help they need,” Maher said, choking up with emotion. “I’m sorry. It’s very emotional to me having spent four years in the Marine Corps during Vietnam War.”

Marking its seventh year, Ride 2 Recovery’s California Challenge, a 450-mile route from Palo Alto to West Los Angeles, kicked off Sunday and ends Saturday.

Groups of riders were fed by the Orcutt American Legion Post 56, enjoying sandwiches, fruit and sweets, and a lot of support.

The post’s Ladies Auxiliary, led by Sue Hale, has prepares the food for riders and support staff.

“Her group of ladies, they just go overboard every year,” Maher said.

A large supply of brownies came from Gina’s Piece of Cake, he added. 

“A lot of this couldn’t go on without the merchants,” Maher said, noting widespread support for the effort to feed the riders. 

Post members plus those from the Ladies Auxiliary and Sons of American Legion all share a role in making the lunch occur.

“We have some very, very loyal members that come down here — wouldn’t miss it,” Maher added.

A key goal of the American Legion is to help other veterans, noted Harley Santos, vice commander representing Area 6 of the State American Legion.

“This is one of the ways we go about doing that,” Santos said, adding that events like the Ride 2 Recovery give Legion members a chance to talk with younger veterans recovering from injuries they have received.

After spending the night in Solvang, the cyclists will travel to Ventura on Friday, with a lunch stop at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum.

“We always encourage folks to come out and support the veterans along the route,” said Matt Rodriguez, a representative for ride sponsor, United Healthcare.

Along the route, riders visited schools where students cheered them on, including at Vandenberg Middle School on Thursday. Lompoc High School's cheerleaders and band greeted riders as they passed by the Lompoc Elks Lodge.

As they departed Orcutt, cyclists were escorted by members of the American Legion Riders along with California Highway Patrol officers. 

“Thank you for support. We appreciate it,” a rider shouted.

“Thank you for lunch everybody,” another said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >