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2022 Fallen Heroes Ride once again benefits BackStoppers

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2022 Fallen Heroes Ride once again benefits BackStoppers

Twenty-five motorcyclists start out on their 118-mile ride to benefit BackStoppers at Saturday's Fallen Heroes Ride. The ride raised $440 to help the organization in assisting the families of fallen first responders. 

Twenty-five motorcyclists revved up their engines Saturday morning and hit the road for a 118-mile roundtrip that began at 10 a.m. Midwest Sports Center, 124 Walker Road in Farmington.

for Saturday's Ninth Annual Fallen Heroes Ride’s and hit the road for a 118-mile trek, all while raising money for the BackStoppers organization. While the ride has taken part in the month of July, Sheri Pratt, service advisor and event coordinator with Midwest Sports Center, said she felt the weather in June would be better suited for riding.

When the ride started at 10 a.m., the weather was 78 degrees and partly sunny.

“I made the order for perfect weather,” joked Pratt.

While the number of riders was smaller than what Pratt expected, the ride raised a total of $440 — with all donated funds going to BackStoppers. A reason for fewer riders taking part? Pratt believes it to be safety concerns.

According to Pratt, one of the first things motorcyclists tend to learn is how to drive defensively, as well as making an effort to get ahead of unexpected issues ahead of time. Another safety concern for motorcycle riders is the grass clippings blown onto the road while lawns are being mowed. Grass clippings can affect the balance of a motorcycle, causing the vehicles to fall onto the roadway, leading to damage to the vehicles and to the people riding it.

BackStoppers is based out of St. Louis, and since 1959 has been helping support the families of first responders whenever tragedy strikes. BackStoppers has benefited the families of St. Francois County for over 20 years, starting with the passing of Deputy Sheriff Steven Ziegler of the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department.

BackStoppers has helped the families of Ziegler, former Leadwood Police Chief Jerry Hicks Sr., Deputy Sheriff Paul Clark with the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, Officer Adam King of the Terre Du Lac Police Department, and most recently, Patrolmen Lane Burns of the Bonne Terre Police Department who was killed in the morning hours of March 17 while responding to a call at the town's Motel 6, formerly the Bonneville Motel.

Danielle Thurman is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be contacted at dthurman@dailyjournalonline.com or 573-518-3616.

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