By Rebecca Rose

Fort Hood Herald

The 2011 Ride for Veterans Wreaths, an event to help raise funds to buy holiday wreaths for the graves of area veterans, is set for Saturday.

The ride will start at Horny Toad Harley-Davidson in Temple and travel more than 70 miles to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. Rich Rogers, ride organizer, said the event is a way to show support for fallen veterans during the holiday season, and enjoy an afternoon with other motorcycle enthusiasts.

"We're going to have a ceremony (for the fallen), and then return (to Temple) for some fun events," he said.

Rogers said no pre-registration is required for the event. Registration begins the day of the event at 8 a.m. at Horny Toad Harley-Davidson.

"I am hoping that we will get around 500 (riders) for the event," said Rogers, who encouraged area motorcycle owners to join in the ride to raise money for gravesite wreaths.

The motorcyclists will depart at 10 a.m. and travel to Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, escorted by local police agencies. Once at the cemetery, riders will watch a military ceremony onsite, featuring an invocation led by retired Lt. Col. John Tidball, a former III Corps chaplain. Don Jones, a retired three-star general, also is set to speak at the event.

Following the ceremony, the riders will return to the Temple motorcycle shop for an afternoon of music and festivities.

Starting at 1 p.m., attendees will be treated to a barbecue lunch from Big Hoss BBQ, live music by local band Pride and Joy, various door prizes and a raffle for a big-screen television donated by Action Pawn.

Rogers said a one-of-a-kind Horny Toad jewelry piece also would be raffled at the event. Valued at more than $800, Rogers said the piece features the date and name of the Ride for Wreaths event engraved on the back of the Horny Toad store logo.

All proceeds generated at the event go to the Friends of the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to purchase holiday wreaths for the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.

The organization's goal is to place a wreath on the grave of every service member during the holiday season.

"It's going to be a fun run," said Rogers. "And, it's for a very good cause."

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