For Wounded Warrior Project...
Wounded Warrior Project was founded in 2002 in Roanoke, Virginia by John Melia with the assistance of family and friends. Melia had himself been severely wounded in a helicopter crash while serving in Somalia in 1992. Besides John, the original founders of WWP included Jim Melia (John's brother), John F. Melia (John's father), Al Giordano and Steven Nardizzi.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to "honor and empower wounded warriors" of the United States Armed Forces. "The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) works to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs."
According to Charity Navigator, WWP allocates 55 percent of its revenue to program expenses and 44.8 percent to fundraising and administrative expenses.
In 2009 , While returning from a trip to Canada, Alex and his wife Helen made a major decision. They would sell their home, purchase a large RV and go full time RV'ing. By doing so, this would allow Alex to ride his dream across America. With plans set into motion in 2010, Alex was finally able to retire at the age of 70 in October, 2012.
Plans and Routes were made for the ride and it was decided to use this adventure as a fundraiser. But who to raise the funds for?
Although neither Alex or Helen were ever in the military, they had a soft spot for all Military personnel. While working in Las Vegas, they lived only one half mile from Nellis Air Force Base and had many military friends. So what better choice than the Wounded Warrior Project!
The ride will begin in St. Augustine, Florida and finish in Seattle, Washington. Approximate time will be four months, beginning March 1, 2013 (possibly two weeks earlier) and ending around the first week of July.
The route will be through the Southern States to Dallas, Texas then turn northwards to I-40 through Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and then on to Seattle.
We Invite all who wish to ride with us, whether it is for one mile, ten miles or a hundred, to Join Alex at any point in the ride. All are welcome, especially Veterans.
As well as the ride, Helen will be interviewing and photographing any and all Wounded Military Personnel that have a desire to have their stories told. There are many out there and we feel their stories should be told. After all, if it were not for these Men and Women, we would not have the FREEDOMS we have.
After the adventure ends, with the Wounded Warrior permission, we hope to turn it into a book about the ride, complete with pictures and interviews with these Heroes, they really are HEROES. These Men and Women have made the sacrifice that most of us either couldn't or didn't want to make. They deserve the respect and recognition for that sacrifice.
So we are asking that you help by supporting Alex in his ride. Alex will be 70 Years of age when he starts and has great expectations for the support out there for our forces.
Our Goal is to raise $100.000.00 over the four month ride and with your help, we can do that and more.
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6:38 PM, Feb 23, 2013
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- 70-year-old Alex Lavoi won't let his age stop him from biking across America. For him it's not a problem.
" I guess it would be for some people, but I am a young 70. I have strengthened myself, and put myself in position to do this, I feel comfortable I will be doing this."
Mr. Lavoi is putting on his bicycle helmet and taking off on a cross country trip from St. Augustine to Seattle, a 4-thousand mile trip.
Lavoie moved to Palatka for the winter and has been riding 50-80 miles a day to get ready. He is calling it Alex's Ride Across America.
Lavoie wanted to do this ride as a fundraiser, so he chose the Wounded Worrier Project to be the benefit charity.
" They've done so much for us, the least we can do is do something for them, and this is my way of doing it."
Lavoie hopes to raise $100,000 for wounded warriors and visit at least two military hospitals in Texas, and visit military bases all along the way.
Lavoie's wife Helen is all in, she will follow her husband in an RV the entire way to Seattle.
"We always wanted to travel, we are gypsies at heart, we want to see the whole country, and this is the best way to do it"
Once the couple have completed the four month ride across America, his wife hopes to write a book about the trip and their interviews with military heroes along the way, complete with pictures.
First Coast News
Contact: Gale Craythorn
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April, 12, 2013
Join 70-year-old cross country cyclist Alex LaVoie in Las Vegas as he rides across the United States in support of America’s injured service members.
LAS VEGAS - Alex LaVoie will be nearly half-way through his four-month, cross country journey when he rides his bicycle into Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. The 70-year-old long-time Las Vegas resident combined his love of cycling with his intense desire to honor the sacrifice of America’s servicemen and women by raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-partisan non-profit organization with the primary purpose of assisting wounded members of the military transition back to civilian life.
LaVoie began his 4,000-mile trip in St. Augustine, Florida, on Saturday, February 23, 2013, and hopes to raise $100,000 for wounded warriors, as well as visit at least two military hospitals and several military bases as he pedals his way across the United States. "They've done so much for us,” said LaVoie, “The least we can do is something for them, and this is my way of doing it."
Members of the armed services, veterans, and local well-wishers are invited to meet Alex at a rally on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sam’s Town RV Park located on Boulder Highway just south of Nellis Boulevard.
Two media opportunities to meet cyclist and fundraiser Alex LaVoie
Cycling enthusiasts of all ages and abilities can help Alex support the Wounded Warrior Project by joining him as he cycles for the charity through the scenic Red Rock area on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 8:00 a.m.
Alex and his wife Helen funded their dream in part by selling their Tri Cities, Wa., home and purchasing an RV which she drives while following her husband across the United States. After riding through the southern states to Dallas, Flagstaff, Ariz., and to Las Vegas, the couple will head to Salt Lake City, and plans to finish the long-distance trip in Seattle sometime the first of July.
For more information about the Alex’s Ride Across America fundraising project, visit www.joinalex.com
Alex and Helen Meet With Arizona Governor
70-year-old bikes cross country for Wounded Warrior Project
Posted: Apr 17, 2013 8:48 PM PDT Updated: Apr 17, 2013 9:05 PM PDT
Written by Jon Castagnino, Reporter - email
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Don't think septuagenarian Alex LaVoie didn't have second thoughts about his 4,000-mile journey on a bicycle.
"Oh yeah, you scratch your head once in a while and say, "why am I doing this?" said the former Las Vegas resident.
He's doing it for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Wednesday, LaVoie arrived at Sam's Town after riding 50 miles from Railroad Pass, battling high winds the whole way.
The cross-country trip from Saint Augustine, FL, to Seattle, WA, has been a dream of his for 15 years.
LaVoie and his wife sold their home in Washington and bought an RV in anticipation for the ride.
"Being a crazy cyclist, I was going to go and do it on my own, just for myself, and then we figured it would be good to do it for a cause," LaVoie said.
Thus far he's raised over $20,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project and he's put plenty of mileage on those 70-year-old legs.
"Likely about 300 miles I haven't ridden, all the other's I've ridden. It's likely around 2,300 miles," LaVoie said.
Alex Lavoie's entourage is quite small. He rides the bike, his wife, Helen, tails him in the RV.
"I've had people think he's an old fool. I think he's a young man at heart," said Helen LaVoie.
At Sam's Town, two friends and Air Force veterans were waiting, and were in awe.
"That one time I rode with him, that was enough," said Neal Treadwell.
"At first, I thought he was crazy at 70-years-old, but he's in shape. He's gonna do it," said Gale Craythorn.
Once he arrives at the finish line sometime in July, Alex LaVoie thinks this ride will be enough for a lifetime.
"I don't think there will be another cross-country bike ride for this old man," Alex LaVoie said.
For more information on Alex LaVoie's trip, or to make a donation, visit www.joinalex.com.
Alex LaVoie and Craythorn will lead a ride through Red Rock Canyon this Saturday for a $20 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.
For more information call 702-419-0207.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcast Corporation). All rights reserved.
by Alice Kleinpeter
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 3:27 PM
APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- Alex LaVoie has been hitting the pavement for nearly two months and when he made it to Arizona he was only about halfway through a journey he was making on his bicycle across the United States.
LaVoie is doing more than just taking an adventure through the country, though. His goal is to raise $100,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I wanted to do something for the warriors,” said Alex. “This is my way of doing it.”
His wife has been behind his decision from the very start and follows him in their RV.
“If he’s going to be riding he may as well ride for a reason,” she said.
Neither Helen nor Alex was in the military, but the Wounded Warrior Project meant a lot to them both.
“We lived in Las Vegas for 16 years and we lived about a half mile south of Nellis Air Force Base,” said Helen. “We have a lot of military friends there and we really felt that this was an organization that needed to get out there we needed to make more awareness of what they do for our military service and this is our way of saying thank you.”
They started in St. Augustine, Florida and will end in Seattle, Washington. The trip is expected to take about four months for Alex who says he bikes 50 to 60 miles each day, but added, “I’ve done up to 78.”
Throughout their journey, Helen will be interviewing and photographing wounded military personnel that are willing to share their story. They hope to turn this ride and the stories into a book.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 to serve veteran's and service members who were wounded on or after the Sept. 11.
You can support Alex and his wife by donating money or joining him on his bike ride. For more information visit www.joinalex.com.
Alex LaVoie, 70, rode with a group of riders Saturday morning from Red Rock Canyon to Blue Diamond. LaVoie and his wife Helen started in St. Augustine, Fla and will end their journey in Washington, racking up 4,000 miles along the way. They are riding to raise awareness and money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Follow them as they ride through the Las Vegas Valley.
By JUSTIN YURKANIN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL