Day 1 Dedicated To Mike Benke
We received a community sendoff early Saturday morning at Station 45 in North Naples. The crowd consisted of family members, fellow firefighters and community supporters.
The first day of our ride was the longest; it was an 82 mile ride. We survived it with three minor accidents and no injuries. The community support along the way has been great! Fire engines from various municipalities escorted us along the way providing an escort for safety and support. As one municipality pulled back, another city or county fire engine would take the lead. The support from one town to another was great!
When we arrived in Arcadia we were greeted by Arcadia law enforcement officers, firefighters, the Mayor, members of the Red Cross and local citizens. Familiar faces among the crowd belonged to our fundraising committee known as the Fundraising Angels.
The 90 degree temperatures did not hinder the riders one bit, they were in great spirits and proud of the first day’s ride. After enjoying a wonderful barbeque dinner provided by the Red Cross the riders had enough energy to play Frisbee.
The American Red Cross opened their doors and provided us with wonderful lodging accommodations to end our first day.