Four VMI Cadets will be participating in a 102mi cycling event and fundraising for the Semper Fi Fund in memory of fallen VMI alumni.

My name is Ryan Long, a Cadet at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA. I am on a U.S. Army ROTC scholarship and am actively seeking a commission into the US Army after VMI.

Last year, I participated in the Martin's Tour of Richmond, a 102mi cycling event that encircles the city. In addition to participating in the race, I used the 30 days leading up to the event as a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. The fundraiser was done in memory of the brother of one of my classmates, who selflessly gave his life in Afghanistan. In those 30 days, 159 donated resulting in a total of $6,412 ($4,000 more than the original goal!).

Because of last year's success and outpouring of generosity and support, I have decided to participate in the event and fundraise again. Last year's fundraiser (although successful) was put together very quickly. This year, with more time to prepare and organize, I will be accompanied by three fellow VMI Cadets. Thus, a VMI team of four will be participating and fundraising for the Semper Fi Fund (SFF). Additionally, with four members, we have set a high, yet attainable goal of $20,000.

The VMI team will consist of:

  1. Cadet, 2nd Class, Ryan Long of Mechanicsville, VA
  2. Cadet, 1st Class, Keith MacDonald of Virginia Beach, VA
  3. Cadet, 2nd Class, Travis Via of Virginia Beach, VA
  4. Cadet, 3rd Class, Schafer Wymond of Lexington, VA

On 5 October 2013, we will be competing in the 2nd Annual Martin's Tour of Richmond.

http://www.sportsbackers.org/events/tour-richmond

In addition to competing, we believe the event provides a great opportunity to show our support and appreciation for our military men and women who faithfully serve and sacrifice for our freedoms on a daily basis. The event is not a SFF fundraiser...we are fundraising on our own, with all proceeds going to the organization.

We will be riding and fundraising in memory of the 15 VMI alumni fallen since 9/11 and the start of the Global War on Terror.

http://www.vmi.edu/Archives/Alumni/MilitaryTopics/WaronTerror/Alumni_Deaths_in_the_War_on_Terror/

It is in their memory that we will be participating and collecting donations for the SFF...the least we can do to show our support for our veterans, especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Semper Fi Fund provides a plethora of support to injured members of all of America’s Armed Forces. Please take a moment to explore their mission by clicking the link below.

http://semperfifund.org/about/

We have set a high goal for ourselves for this fundraiser, comparable to the high standards to which we hold ourselves as Cadets at the Virginia Military Institute...the standards of which the VMI alumni referenced above proudly and honorably demonstrated. With our participation this year, we hope to establish a precedent for future VMI Cadets to participate and fundraise as a team in honor of all fallen VMI Alumni during the Global War on Terror.

Thank you for your support, and may God Bless America.

Thank you,

Cadets Long, MacDonald, Via, & Wymond

Offline donations are acceptable only in the form of checks made out to the "Semper Fi Fund." Checks can be mailed to:

Cadet Ryan Long

450 Burma Rd.

Virginia Military Institute #80809

Lexington, VA 24450

All offline donations will be recorded online, and then mailed to the Semper Fi Fund every Friday.

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