Ride for Troops motorcycle ride planned for Oct. 20 in Conyers

COVINGTON -- If you'd like the folks in the military to know you appreciate their service, a good opportunity will present itself on Oct. 20.

Operation Sandbox is hosting the fifth annual Ride for the Troops motorcycle ride for bikers and others in the community who'd like to come out to the Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson location at 900 Dogwood Drive, Conyers and participate in various patriotic activities.

"If you love your freedom, you will want to support this event," said Virginia Pearson, co-founder of Operation Sandbox, an organization that has been sending care packages to troops serving in Iraq and Iran for eight years. "I do not take a salary nor are my volunteers paid. All monies (raised) will go to keep our care packages lifting the morale of our men and women who defend this country."

Registration for the hour-long ride begins at 8 a.m., with riders leaving with a police escort at 10:45 a.m. All makes and models of motorcycles are welcome.

The fee is a $20 donation per biker and a $10 donation per passenger.

A day of patriotic events will be presented, which will include a U.S. Army Orange County Chopper on display, a live band, food, vendors, raffles and great door prizes.

"We will have a patriotic program before the kick stands go up which honors all our veterans, active military and fallen heroes," Pearson said.

The first 200 bikers to register will receive a free T-shirt, a Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit and Starbucks coffee.

Last year's event saw almost 700 bikers with approximately 1,100 people in attendance.

For more information, go to www.operationsandboxga.com.