Yeager’s Cycle in Sedalia had some special visitors Thursday afternoon who are traveling the country by motorcycle to raise awareness for fallen soldiers.
Adam Sandoval and his Chihuahua, Scooter, visited with a showroom full of people Thursday to talk about their 17-month journey and the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. Sandoval and Scooter have been traveling since Nov. 10, 2014, from Fort Myers, Florida, on a Harley Davidson to raise money for the scholarship.
“I wanted to give back to my military,” Sandoval said of his decision to organize the ride. “I had never served in the military and it’s something that I always regretted, I always wanted to serve in the military, so I tried to come up with a way to give back and this was it.”
The Legacy Scholarship Fund was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to provide higher education scholarships to the children of citizens who have died in active duty since that day. To date, Sandoval said he has donated about $250,000 to the fund from his ride.
“I never expected it’d be this big,” he said.
To raise awareness and donations, Sandoval and Scooter are traveling to 696 Harley Davidson dealerships in the continental U.S. Yeager’s was stop No. 533. He expects to complete the ride in late September or early October.
Sandoval told the crowd he has crossed the U.S. five times coast to coast and his continuous ride will break the Guinness record for most miles in one country on a single motorcycle run. After living on the road for 17 months, he has covered 63,000 miles, almost triple the current record, he said.
Scooter has been with Sandoval every mile and is popular with fans at each stop. While many at Yeager’s posed for photos with the pair, even more asked Sandoval if they could take a photo of the dog, who sat in a backpack carried by Sandoval all afternoon.
“Scooter’s the man. I tell everyone he’s the show and I’m the chauffeur,” Sandoval said with a laugh.
The American Legion Riders from Post 131 in Warrensburg and Post 82 in Windsor both came out Thursday to show their support of Scootin America. Post 131 riders escorted Sandoval and his crew to Yeager’s after he stopped at Gail’s Harley Davidson in Grandview.
Sandoval signed posters for fans who made any amount of donation and sold books about his journey to help fund fuel costs for the trip.
“I sold everything — my house, other bikes, you name it I sold it to fund this trip,” Sandoval said.
To help defray costs, Mary Jane Savery, of Post 131, gave Sandoval a $100 donation from the Post for his expenses to host the ride. Savery said she has been following Sandoval’s progress since he started in 2014.
Rodney Norman, of Post 82, said the Windsor riders came to Yeager’s in support of the Legacy Scholarship, which he said is one of the American Legion’s largest projects.
“I think it’s awesome, it’s great,” Norman said of Scootin America. “I wouldn’t miss this for nothing. There’s a lot of kids out there that will get the chance to go to college from this, and they deserve it.”
For more information or to donate, visit www.scootinamerica.com. Followers can track Sandoval and Scooter’s progress via videos and photos posted daily on Facebook.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.