State Rep. Harry Readshaw, "Readshaw's Raiders" and motorcycle riders from ABATE of Pennsylvania are gearing up for their annual "Ride to Gettysburg" from Harrisburg to Gettysburg for 1 p.m. on Sept. 22.
The annual motorcycle trip from Harrisburg to Gettysburg is a major fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project, which Readshaw established in 1997. The riders have become known as "Readshaw's Raiders," and the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) of Pennsylvania has been at the front of the pack.
Registration for the ride will begin at 11 a.m. behind the Capitol in Harrisburg. The procession will set out at 1 p.m. For a fee of $10, each rider will receive a commemorative 2012 "Readshaw's Raiders" pin and a picnic with entertainment at the conclusion of the ride donated by Battlefield Harley-Davidson in Gettysburg.
The Monuments Project was started to fund desperately needed cleaning and repairs for the more than 140 monuments and markers on the battlefield that honor the heroism and sacrifice of the thousands of Pennsylvanians who fought in the epic clash that turned the tide in the Civil War in the Union's favor.
Most of the Pennsylvania monuments and markers were erected by the veterans of the battle with the assistance of allocations approved by the state General Assembly.
Past rides have paid for cleaning and restoration, and now Readshaw is looking to endow each monument with its own trust for future needs. Thus far, about half of the $431,000 to fund the trusts has been raised.
Last year's ride attracted more than 300 participants and raised more than $12,000 in donations.
Proceeds from the ride go to the Monuments Project and the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association. The GBPA, the nation's oldest Civil War battlefield preservation organization, is presently concentrating on the restoration and preservation of the historic 145-acre Daniel Lady Farm on Hanover Road in Gettysburg, The house and barn were used by the Confederates as field hospitals during the battle.
"Every participant in the Ride for the Monuments becomes part of the legacy of Gettysburg," Readshaw said. "In years to come, they can show their children they helped to keep the monuments in a condition that does honor to the soldiers of Gettysburg and ensures that future generations will know the pride we take in these soldiers and their memories.'"
More information about the Ride for the Monuments can be obtained by calling 717-731-8955 or visiting www.abatepa.com.
Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project information is available by calling Readshaw's Harrisburg office at 717-783-0411 or by email at email@example.com. The GBPA has a website at www.gbpa.org.