The Veteran Services Center at Glendale Community College is receiving $40,000 from a fundraiser held earlier this year.
Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers, Glendale Chamber of Commerce President Robert Heidt, Glendale Community College President Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz and other GCC staff were present at Thursday’s donation presentation to GCC for veteran scholarships.
The biannual Mayor’s Big Dog Runs’ registration fees funded the donation. The event was held Feb. 29 with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Military & Veterans Affairs Committee and was attended by over 1,500 motorcycle enthusiasts proud to support those who have served in the United States military.
The unique ride began at Glendale’s Municipal Airport, with registration and check-in beginning at 8 a.m. and “kickstands up” at 10 a.m.
From there, the riders made their way to Phoenix Raceway in Avondale and completed a lap around the track. After Phoenix Raceway, riders headed to Luke Air Force Base where riders were able to complete a lap up and back on a runway before heading to State Farm Stadium to enjoy a lap inside. The motorcycle ride ended at Westgate with Shane’s Rib Shack providing a meal to every paid participant and event volunteers.
In addition to experiencing the ride, participants received an official challenge coin and event patch with year rocker.
“When I started this event several years ago, I could have never imagined how big this event would get this year,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers. “This event allows me to showcase the West Valley and highlight the amazing venues we have but most importantly give a scholarship donation to GCC and help those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country.”
The Military & Veterans Affairs Committee of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce provides recognition and assistance to the local military community, helps members of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce conduct more business with Luke Air Force Base, and encourages businesses to hire veterans.
“The Chamber loves partnering with Mayor Jerry Weiers’ office for the Big Dog Run," stated Robert Heidt, President and CEO of the Glendale Chamber. "It is always such a fun day to enjoy Arizona’s sunshine and is an amazing event for community members to participate in. We were extremely impressed with the huge participant turnout this year and were honored to donate all the proceeds to Glendale Community College’s Veteran Services Center for student scholarship. We know they will put the funds to great use, giving back to our local service members.”
Supporters and sponsors of the event include the Glendale Chamber of Commerce: Military & Veterans Affairs Committee, Luke Air Force Base 56th Fighter Wing, State Farm Stadium, Phoenix Raceway, Sanderson Ford, Westgate Entertainment District, Swire Coca-Cola Glendale, Shane’s Rib Shack, Dutch Bros., Arizona Organix, Freddy’s and Glendale Community College Veteran Services Center.
The event’s success was also due in part to the efforts of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Glendale Police and Fire Departments, Tolleson Police and Fire Departments, Goodyear Police and Fire Departments and Avondale Police and Fire Departments who helped with traffic and United States flags displayed along the route.