MOUNT VERNON — The 33rd Annual Run for the Wall will make its traditional stop in Mt. Vernon next week along its Central Route.

The run takes three routes in its annual effort to promote healing among all veterans, their families, and their friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.

The central route of RFTW will be once again stopping in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, to fuel and have lunch on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023. More than 300 bikes are expected to arrive in Mt. Vernon via I-64 to exit 95 at 10:45 a.m. where they will fuel their bikes at the Hucks located at 34th & Broadway.  From there, they will stage in the Rural King parking lot and parade to Mt. Vernon Airport where a dedicated committee and a few student organizations from several area schools will provide a fried chicken dinner and other amenities for the riders. A flag ceremony will be conducted by Mt. Vernon American Legion and Terri Sullivan will sing the National Anthem.

“So many people and groups come together to make this a great stop for the riders,” commented assistant state coordinator for RFTW, Angela Schrum. “Dave Parkhill is the State Coordinator this year and has done a great job getting all the details lined out with the committee. Mt. Vernon Airport are impeccable hosts, and the venue is ideal for the crowd. Our emergency services are integral in getting the riders in and through Mt. Vernon and Jefferson County safely. It is a genuine team effort and an honor to be a part of.”

Mt. Vernon is the only Illinois stop for RFTW each year. Funds are raised by the local volunteers to provide a fried chicken lunch and help pay for their fuel.

“It takes a lot of planning and organization to pull off the gas stop and lunch in the short time they are here each year,” Parkhill added. “But it is an honor to show appreciation to the Run for the Wall riders each year.”

Donations are still being accepted towards the fuel for the riders. They can be dropped off at the Mt. Vernon Convention & Visitors Bureau, 200 Potomac Blvd between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Checks should be made to Mt. Vernon Festivals, Inc. with RFTW in the memo line.

Those who participate in the Run for the Wall can sign up to join the route at any point from California to Washington D.C. Many people ride the entire route, while others join the pack for a leg of the journey. Once they converge in D.C., riders are free to return to their homes via any route they choose.

The pack will leave the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport at 12:50 p.m. and travel east on Route 15 to Wayne City where they will get back on I-64 and continue their journey towards Washington D. C. for Memorial Day. We encourage anyone who can to line Broadway between 10:50 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. All times are approximate. Wave your flags and support the riders who say, “we ride for those who can’t.”

Travelers in Mt. Vernon on May 23rd during the time when RFTW is present should expect delays and authorities suggest taking alternate routes of Richview Road or Veteran’s Memorial Drive, when possible, between 10:50 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

More information about the entire Run can be found at: https://rftw.us/central-route-hub/