By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — A new Southern Illinois chapter of Peacekeepers Inc. will conduct a benefit Saturday to benefit children of law enforcement officers and/or military servicemen.
Peacekeepers Inc. is a group of motorcycle enthusiasts dedicated to the men and women of law enforcement, the Army guard and the air guard.
In 2013, the Peacekeepers were embraced by the Illinois Sheriff's Association. Each ride throughout the state in the northern, central and southern regions will raise money and be used for a scholarship for a student of and Illinois law enforcement officer or military serviceman and the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.
“Several years ago, about 20 motorcycles ventured out on a Sunday to just get away. It was on that ride that someone said, 'You should put a cause behind the ride.' After careful consideration and a few conversations over the open road, the idea was developed to raise money for the men and women who work so faithfully to provide us with the peace of mind we have each day,” stated Mylas Copeland, on the Peacekeepers Inc. web site. Copeland coordinates the ride in Central Illinois for the Springfield area chapter of Peacekeepers.
Jefferson County Sheriff Roger Mulch helped organize the southern region ride, bringing together officials from Dale's Harley-Davidson in Mt. Vernon and Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion.
Registration for Saturday's ride begins at 10 a.m. at Dale's. Riders will leave here at 10:30 and arrive at Black Diamond at noon for lunch. After riding throughout Southern Illinois, including portions of the Shawnee National Forest, the riders will return to Dale's at 3 p.m. and have dinner from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Entertainment will also be provided.
Mulch said the riders will be provided with a full law enforcement escort, involving 12 agencies, during Saturday's ride.
“We want people to come out, have a good time, and be safe,” Mulch said. “We think this is a worthy cause and we're pleased these two fine Southern Illinois businesses have joined forces to bring such an event to this area.”