On Friday, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund Ride For Heroes arrived at its final destination in a two-month coast-to-coast journey as cyclists Dennis McLaughlin, John Gerlaugh, Troy McLeheny and Ben Maenza crossed the finish line in Del Mar Beach, Calif. Since embarking upon the trek in June, the riders have been making their way across the country on recumbent trikes tobring awareness to the needs of wounded veterans, ultimately raising $92,000 for the Semper Fi Fund.
McLaughlin and Gerlaugh hatched the idea of the Ride For Heroes following a Semper Fi Fund event they attended last year, where they met several severely injured Marines and their families. Resolved to find a way to actively support the war wounded, they took a “Bucket List” event they had been planning, a bike ride across the U.S., and reimagined it as the Ride for Heroes fundraiser. Soon joined by McLeheny and Maenza, the four cyclists began their adventure in St. Augustine, Florida on June 9, and have been riding west across the southern United States eversince.
In a joint statement, the riders expressed their gratitude and excitement as they concluded this incredible adventure: “The Pacific Ocean… was the final destination of this Ride, but another beginning of the ability of the Semper Fi Fund to help even more amazing young injured Heroes and their families through the funds donated by so many wonderful people along our way. We are humbledbeyond words at our fellow Americans’ generosity and love for our veterans. We’ll return to our “normal” lives with great memories of this trip and all the wonderful people we’ve encountered.”