At the fundraiser, motorcycle club members from around New York City filed in to celebrate the vets among them and give to a worthy cause. This year, 35 were honored with gifts and awards and proceeds collected at the door that will go toward buying supplies for the Clutch Divas’ platoon.
Black Enterprise’s Vladimir Leveque was on hand to host the event. Known as “Preach” on his motorcycle, he also operates the Sucker Free MC blog which chronicles the history and culture of motorcycle clubs.
“I don’t use the word heroes loosely,” Leveque said. “But what these guys do on a day-to-day is incredible. Even more, military guys were right there at the birth of what we define as MCs now. So we owe them that acknowledgement and respect.”
Some of the very first MCs came from veterans of WWII who still wanted the thrill and camaraderie of their service days, says Leveque.
“They provided the DNA for what we do today and a lot of vets are still able to exercise that same sense of freedom riding motorcycles in a club.”
Despite the cost and effort to put on the event, Chevere plans to continue it next year and is already planning for a larger production. She said she’s encouraged by the letters she gets from her adopted platoon and the reaction of those she awards best reaction.
“One soldier told me that it meant more than anything because it came from his community,” she says. “And last year, we sent so much stuff that our guys were able to share with other platoons.”
Since first getting the idea for the fundraiser, Chevere father has declined in health.
“He’s not able to speak much but I shared what I was doing with him a while back,” she says. “He told me, having been a soldier, it’s worth more than gold to them.”