Legacy Run to wheel through North St. Paul

American Legion raising funds for scholarships


American Legion Post 39 in North St. Paul will be the third stop on the 2018 Minnesota Legacy Run Aug. 3, an annual motorcycle tour that raises money for the Legion’s Legacy Scholarship fund. 

The Legacy Run began nationally in response to 9/11, and the goal of the run is to raise money for scholarships for children whose parents died or were severely disabled while serving on active duty on or after 9/11. 

In 2010, the Minnesota American Legion formed its own statewide run, according to the organization’s website. Since then the Legion Riders motorcycle group has traveled annually through all 10 American Legion districts collecting donations before bringing that money to the American Legion National Convention.

In 2011, the Minnesota Legacy Run was divided into two sections, northern and southern, which took place over two weekends.

Riders from Post 39 have participated every year, though Post 39 itself hasn’t always been a stop, said Steve Hendrickson, president of the Post 39 Legacy Riders. 

He added that the run’s organizers try to rotate which legion halls they stop at each year, though they do try to go to one hall in each district.


Rolling into North St. Paul

Post 39 will be the third stop of run’s first weekend, following  stops at halls in Forest Lake and Bayport. Post 39 has 18 Legion Riders, and all who are able to make it will be ‘riding for the kids.’ 

Once the motorcyclists arrive at Post 39 they will collect donations for the scholarship. 

“We all congregate there and we all do our donations,” Hendrickson said. “We try to get our patrons of the Legion to participate and donate.”

He estimated that a couple of hours will be spent at each stop, though the timing is all dependent on weather.

Post 39 Gambling Manager Randy Bastyr noted that all community members are invited to come out to American Legion Post 39 that morning to watch the Legacy Riders roll in and to donate to the cause. He estimated that the Legacy Riders could arrive at Post 39 as early as 9:30 a.m. and as late as 11 a.m.

“We’re estimating somewhere between 75 and 300 bikes rolling in that morning, so it should be pretty good,” Bastyr said.

Post 39 is located at 2678 E. Seventh St., North St. Paul.

Those who would like to donate but are not able to make it on Aug. 3, can make a check out to The American Legion Foundation Fund 84 and mail it to The American Legion Foundation, Third Floor, Veterans Service Building, 20 W. 12th St., Room 300A, St. Paul, MN 55155-2000. 


How the scholarship works 

This year, the Minnesota Legion has set for itself the goal of raising $25,000. Hendrickson said that so far the legion has met all of its Legacy Run goals, and he expects it will again this year.

The donated money goes into the Legacy Scholarship trust fund, and interest from the trust fund is used for the scholarships.

The first scholarship was for $2,000 and was awarded to a student in 2004. In general, the scholarships award up to $20,000 in aid per student for the cost of graduate or post-graduate tuition, books, room and board, meal plans, transportation and other supplies needed to achieve higher education.

“[The students] don’t just get the money, they have to earn it. They have to have good grades,” Hendrickson said.

According to the Minnesota Legacy Run website, it is expected that the Legacy Scholarship trust will need a minimum of $20 million to meet the expected need for scholarships.


National Convention to follow Legacy Run

This year the American Legion National Convention, typically held right after the Legacy Run, will be held Aug. 24-30 in Minneapolis. 

“We figure anywhere from 700 to 1,200 [American Legion members] will be rolling into Minneapolis for the National Convention,” Bastyr said.

Hosting the convention in Minneapolis is not only convenient for Minnesota Legacy Riders, who bring the donations to the convention after the run, but also an appropriate bookend to celebrate the past 100 years of conventions. The first convention was held in Minneapolis in 1919.

For more information about the Minnesota Legacy Run or a full schedule of stops, visit www.mnlegacyrun.org.


– Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com

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