WORCESTER, Mass. - For a third year, Vernon Hill American Legion Post 435 is doing what they can to help local kids battling cancer.
The post hosting the "Lego Ride for Kids with Cancer" charity event. Between 200 and 300 riders, supporters, and local companies donated hundreds of Lego sets.
The ride passed local organizations supporting children and families facing childhood cancer, including UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center, Why Me & Sherry's House and Notre Dame Health Care Pedi Pals. The ride growing significantly from the second edition last year. Participants starting out at the Worcester Walmart before embarking on their ride.
The disease is personal for many involved with the legion, which is why they wanted to do something.
"It's a major thing for the kids," said Rich Smalley, who directs the post's riding chapter. "Many of us have had family members that have cancer, but to have a kid that really doesn’t understand always what's going on, doesn't know why he can't go out and play with his friends because he's got to stay in the hospital. These toys believe it or not, it's amazing the joy it brings to these kids."
"It's all about the kids, it's not about us, it's not about anything else, it's about the kids with cancer, and that's what this is all about today," said Harry Rider, who serves as chaplain for the post's riding chapter. "And every year we get a little bit more, and today we couldn't ask for a better day."
"This is unbelievable, this is great, great for the kids, great charity," said Mark Wood, who participated in the ride. "Going to do a ride down around UMass I hear, it's for all the kids, how can you beat it? Any ride like this for charity is good."
The legion also took monetary donations to buy even more Lego sets, raising thousands of dollars. The 45-mile ride took right around 90 minutes to complete, finishing back at the post on Providence Street, where riders held a celebration afterwards.