LUDINGTON, Mich. — An inaugural event has raised more than $3,000 for a nonprofit organization that supports active-duty and military veterans.
It was founded by a 6-year-old girl from Ludington.
On Aug. 3, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association chapter 35-4 (“Lost Boys”) held the Benefit Ride & Fundraiser Dinner at the Manistee VFW. All of the money raised will go to Miss Sawyer’s Kids with a Cause. The group also honors Fallen Heroes.
“It’s the first time these combat vets have done this type of event, and the proceeds will be used toward Sawyer’s Stockings, which is a Christmas care-package project for our military,” says Heather Hendrickson.
She is the mother of Miss Sawyer Hendrickson.
Heather Hendrickson says one of the event organizers, Lost Boys member/U.S. Army combat veteran Rick “Skid” Rowe,has a goal to make it an annual event to ease the financial burden of Sawyer’s mission to allow her to continue to travel to events and make appearances with veterans.
Sawyer is 10 years old now, but was only 6 when she founded the organization after her brother, Cpl. Kylar Hendrickson, joined the U.S. Marine Corps. She began sending care packages to her brother and other Marines.
And now, more than 25,000 care packages are sent around the world each year to all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Heather Hendrickson said Sawyer “ships out over 5,000 filled stockings to our active military who are not going home to their families for Christmas”.
Miss Sawyer also attends at least 150 veterans’ events each year across the country, and is a guest speaker at more than half of them. Heather Hendrickson says her daughter has lain six wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and recently spoke to in Washington, D.C. at the Rolling Thunder 32nd Annual Ride for Freedom.
“To date, she has handed out nearly 18,0000 Hero Rocks since she turned 9 a year-and-a-half ago,” says Heather Hendrickson.
The Benefit Ride and Fundraiser’s second-annual event will be on Aug. 1, 2020.