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Bikers take to the hills to help troops rest

Event raises funds to provide pillows to soldiers serving overseas

POSTED: September 8, 2011 12:30 a.m.

Len Palmer-Davis does everything she can to support America's men and women in uniform.

For the second year in a row, the Hall County resident and mother of three sons active-duty in the Army has organized a motorcycle ride to benefit the Pillows for Patriots program. The ride will take place Saturday, Sept. 10, and Palmer-Davis looks to the community for help in supporting the troops.

"The ride is for our soldiers. If not for our military doing what they do every day, we'd be in a very different place," Palmer-Davis said.

Pillows for Patriots is a nonprofit organization that aims to supply deployed troops with pillows. The program was started seven years ago by military mother Barb Ferrier from Beaufort, S.C., according to Palmer-Davis.

"I'm thrilled, absolutely thrilled to see what Len is doing. She does so much work to raise money, and it helps us out," Ferrier said.

Palmer-Davis said that when she discovered the organization, she immediately wanted to get involved.

"It's our way of thanking them in the smallest ways. Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest differences. We sleep better knowing our defenders sleep better," she said.

According to Ferrier, Pillows for Patriots has supplied more than 40,000 pillows to deployed troops.

"The men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are leaving everything behind here to go and do what they are called to do. This is the least we can do to say ‘thanks,'" Ferrier said.

Last year's ride included 60 bikes and raised $1,300, according to Palmer-Davis. This year, she hopes to have 100 bikes participating.

Palmer-Davis has enlisted the help of local law enforcement to ensure a safe ride. Members of the Hall and Lumpkin County sheriff's departments, in addition to Gainesville and Helen police, will direct traffic at intersections to riders to pass through.

The ride begins with registration from 8-9:45 a.m. at Frazier's Harley Davidson in Buford. Kickstands raise and the caravan leaves promptly at 10 a.m.

From Gainesville, riders will head up to Dahlonega, cross Blood Mountain and eventually end up at Helen. The final rallying point is Chattahoochee Biker Gear in Helen.

Registration for the event is $20 per bike. For more information on how to support Pillows for Patriots, contact Len Palmer-Davis at 678-925-5159, or visit www.pillowsforpatriots.org.



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