In this recurring special feature, Nonahood News recognizes and honors those everyday heroes who have served or are currently serving our country and making a difference in our community. Those who reside in the Lake Nona and surrounding area are our Nona Heroes.
Engines revving and kickstands up, the motorcade prepped for miles of bikers who flooded the streets of Orlando. On Saturday Jan. 20, hundreds of veterans and motorcycle riders took to US 17-92 in support of two wounded veterans of Central Florida: U.S. Marine Sergeant Stephen Tovet (Tillman) and U.S. Navy Corpsman Kelly Smith. The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association hosted the event and proudly boasted its motto of “Veterans Helping Veterans.”
The Wounded Vet Run originally began in Boston in 2011 and has raised more than $500,000 for 13 veterans. Since the run began, the original Boston Wounded Vet Run has grown from 300 bikes to more than 5,000 participants, which include both riders and non-riders, as well as thousands of spectators who line the route. This was the inaugural vet run in Orlando.
It was a spectacle to see so many people show up in support of local heroes. Bystanders lined the streets and waved as the vets and bikers rode on by. The route began at the Seminole Harley Davidson and wrapped up at Ace Cafe in downtown Orlando where more people gathered to join those who rode. Vendors and entertainment were set up to help raise more money for Tovet and Smith, and all enjoyed their time.
Donations can be sent to:
Combat Veterans Motorcycle Assn.
2880 Southland Rd, Mount Dora, FL 32757
Hopefully, this year’s run will be the first of many successful runs to come to benefit Central Florida’s local heroes.
If you would like to nominate someone for our next Nona Heroes feature, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form here: http://nonahood.to/nonaheroes.