SPRINGFIELD—Illinois State Police officers and dozens of motorcycle riders and fun car drivers will gather Saturday, July 20, 2012, at five designated meeting sites throughout Illinois to participate in ISP’s Sixth Annual Memorial Park Motorcycle and Fun Car Run.
The Motorcycle Ride and Fun Run is organized to raise funds to build an Illinois State Police Memorial Park.
Fun Run bikers and Fun Car drivers will meet at 8:30 a.m. in Downers Grove; 10:30 a.m. in Dwight; 1 p.m. in Bloomington; 10a.m. in O’Fallon and 1 p.m. in Carlinville. Motorcycles and Fun Cars will depart from these locations at the designated times and will make a final stop at the ISP FOP Lodge 41 in Springfield, where brief tributes to Kyle Deatherage and James Sauter will be recognized.
The riders on the planned route will be escorted by police and Rescue Riders, who are trained medical professionals and first responders.
ISP Director Hiram Grau will greet the riders before the 9 a.m. departure time at ISP District 15, 2700 Ogden Ave., Downers Grove. Director Grau will be joined by Retired ISP First Deputy Director and Memorial Park Foundation Co-Chair Jack Garcia, who will lead the Motorcycle and Fun Car Run from ISP District 15 in Downers Grove to the FOP Lodge in Springfield.
“The annual Motorcycle ride draws law enforcement support from all over Illinois and beyond to show support for our fallen and all of the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.
“Their courage and honor will never be forgotten and the support shown here today will greatly contribute to the future plans for a permanent memorial park to honor their legacies,” he added.
Officials and participants will pay special tribute to Troopers Kyle Deatherage and James Sauter, who were both were killed in the line of duty.
This year, 26 specialty baskets were donated by ISP work units and a commemorative golf cart will be raffled to support the fund-raising efforts. More than $10,000 was raised in 2012 by the fund-raising committee.
The 1.5 acre park was donated to the Illinois State Police in September of 2007, and plans have been underway to build a Police Memorial dedicated to honoring the sacrifice and service of the fallen ISP heroes.
More than 60 ISP officers have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect the citizens of Illinois.
The new Memorial, when constructed, will serve as a place of peace and comfort for those who have lost a family member or friend. It will also serve as a public gathering site for visitors to remember the brave heroes.
The Memorial was designed by Knight Engineers & Architects in collaboration with the Illinois State Police and Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation.
Once the Memorial is constructed, the ISP Heritage Foundation will shift its mission to fundraising to cover the costs of medical bills and other needs of officers and their families.
Riders can still register on line at http://ispmp2012.eventbrite.com. All proceeds will benefit the Illinois State Police Memorial Park.
Those interested in contributing can find out more about the Memorial and the ISP Heritage Foundation at www.ISPHF.org or call (217) 525-1922.