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Motorcycle run to benefit Pillows for Patriots
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Listen as Barb Farrior, co-founder of Pillows for Patriots in Beaufort, S.C., talks about efforts to supply pillows to military personnel serving overseas.

‘Pillows for Patriots’ fundraiser

What: Police-escorted motorcycle run
When: Sept. 11; registration is 8-9:45 a.m. and ride starts at 10 a.m.
Where: Starts at Frazier’s Harley Davidson, 4699 Friendship Road, Buford, and ends in Helen
Cost: $20 per bike
Contact: Len Palmer-Davis, 678-925-5159

A Flowery Branch woman has organized a motorcycle run to help raise money so those deployed in the military - such as her son Joel - can sleep with a pillow under their heads.

"It's taking something we take for granted every day," Len Palmer-Davis said.

The event is set for Sept. 11, with the ride beginning at Frazier's Harley Davidson in Buford and ending in Helen.
Proceeds will go to Pillows for Patriots, an organization founded a year ago in South Carolina by two military moms.

Pillows aren't a U.S. government-issued item, and "they're a badly needed item," Palmer-Davis said. "They don't get much sleep."

"The good thing about these (pillows) are that they are small and will fit in the rucksacks, besides the fact that they can be thrown in the wash," she added.

Palmer-Davis' son, Army Spec. Joel R. Palmer, is with the 3rd Infantry Division based at Fort Stewart near Hinesville.

A 2005 Johnson High School graduate, he entered the Army in January 2006 and was first deployed to Iraq in March 2007. He came home in 2008 and was redeployed in October, currently stationed in Mosul, Iraq. Palmer is expected to return home Nov. 10.

Palmer-Davis said she found out about Pillows for Patriots through information she received from the family readiness group at Fort Stewart.

She called Barb Farrior, one of the group's founders, and said she could organize the bike ride as a fundraiser.

"I've never done one before, but I want to do something," Palmer-Davis said.

Farrior said the pillows idea was born after her son, Army
Capt. Justin Daubert, was preparing to leave for Iraq for his third tour. Daubert is now in Dahlonega.

"I knew I was going to get an e-mail saying, ‘Mom, send me a pillow and sheets' because they don't issue (those items)," she said in a phone interview last week. "Not many people know that (rule) and everybody needs to know that."

She saw a story on the "Today" show about a woman who had a sewing school and "had these little girls stuffing pillows and I thought, ‘You know, I could get my girlfriends to help me make pillows for Justin's company,'" Farrior said.

So, she asked a local pillow maker about taking part in the program. The company makes, then sells, the pillows to the organization at cost, or for $1.80 apiece.

Farrior has raised about $50,000 to ship more than 20,000 pillows to military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. To save on shipping costs, the group is trying to reach military units with the pillows before they leave the U.S.
She plans on visiting the area for the motorcycle run.

"Justin ... and my husband (each) have a Harley, so we have to be up there for that," she said.