Hundreds of motorcyclists set to cross Lake, McHenry counties for Thunder Run

Thunder Run seeks to raise POW/MIA awareness, generate funding for veteran services projects

Hundreds of motorcyclists are set to travel from North Chicago to Woodstock to raise awareness for prisoners of war and those missing in action, as well as funding for veteran services projects.

The 19th annual Thunder Run kicks off at 11 a.m. Sept. 19, at the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, 3001 Green Bay Road in North Chicago, and ends at about 12:30 p.m. at the Woodstock Harley-Davidson, according to a news release.

Coordinated by Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 2, the event also seeks to remind government officials that much work remains to recover the tens of thousands still listed as prisoners of war or missing in action, U.S. Army retired Col. Wayne Kirkpatrick said in a statement.

Motorcyclists will begin to assemble at 8 a.m. at the Lovell Federal Health Care Center before departing on their police-escorted ride at 11 a.m., according to the release. They’ll follow a 40-mile route through North Chicago, Green Oaks, Libertyville, Volo, Lakemoor, McHenry and Bull Valley en route to Woodstock Harley-Davidson, 2235 S. Eastwood Drive, where participants can enjoy a lunch and raffles.

The cost to join in the rain-or-shine ride is $20 per motorcyclist and $10 per passenger.

This is Rolling Thunder’s primary fundraising event of the year, according to the release. Proceeds are earmarked for POW/MIA education efforts, MIA repatriation events, remembrance table ceremonies, the granting of final requests from terminal patients at Lovell, and grants to Veterans Path to Hope (formerly TLS Veterans), as well as other initiatives.

“It’s a somber, patriotic event that does tremendous good with the monies raised,” said Richard Lanute, president of Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 2, one of about 90 chapters of the nonprofit that exist across the country. “Motorcyclists need not be members to participate, and we encourage all to consider joining us on the 19th.”

Information is available at www.rollingthunderIL2.org.