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The 9-11 American Challenge: Ride Shotgun!

Meet Vann Schaffner.  We’d like to adopt him, and we hope you’ll agree to co-parent.

Here’s the good news: He’s already finished college, has a job, and a roof over his head.  He’s in training and favors a healthy diet and outdoor exercise.  There will be no educational, basic living, or entertainment expenses.

Parental responsibilities will be limited to helping this father, grandfather, Navy veteran, and cyclist meet his goal of participating in a special 2011 edition of Ride 2 Recovery.

The 9-11 American Challenge will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks upon the United States.  The ride will begin within view of the World Trade Center and travel to the United 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA, before concluding at the Pentagon Memorial.  It’s an eight day, 530 mile bicycle ride that starts on September 11, 2011.

Participants will include survivors, family members, and first responders from 9-11, as well as wounded veterans from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the general public.  Injured veterans ride free.  Remaining cyclists are asked to actively fundraise, and will each donate at minimum $2998 to Ride 2 Recovery; that’s $1 for every victim of the 9-11 attacks.  Vann’s personal goal is a $5000 donation.

Ride 2 Recovery is a non-profit organization that is making a difference in the lives of injured soldiers through cycling.  In a few short years, Ride 2 Recovery has already shown that cycling can play a significant role in the rehabilitation of both physical and mental injuries, ranging from loss of limb(s) to post traumatic stress disorder.  Again this year, cycles will be purchased and custom-fit to the needs of the rider.  Seven challenge events are planned across the United States and abroad, including the 9-11 event.

Vann Schaffner first came to our attention in March of this year when we were introduced to Ride 2 Recovery by the involvement of musician Taylor Hicks.  Taylor performed at a kick-off benefit concert for the Texas Challenge on March 28; Vann was an active advocate for the Texas event.  Since that time we’ve watched Vann’s consistent promotion of the U.S. military and Ride 2 Recovery via his social media sites and blog.  We’ve decided that now is the time to stop watching and start helping.

Vann has invited fans of Taylor Hicks to ride shotgun during the American Challenge.  If, as a group, we are able to raise a $500 donation for Ride 2 Recovery, Vann will add a badge to the back of his cycling jersey during the 9-11 ride.  The badge will read “Taylor Hicks – Soul Patrol”.  This is our opportunity to help a fine organization that supports our active duty military and veterans.  It’s also our opportunity to ride 530 miles with Vann, all without pedaling.

Please consider making a directed donation to Ride 2 Recovery.  Follow this link: and then “Sponsor a Rider” by entering the first (Vann) and last (Schaffner) names of the rider.  Donations are accepted via PayPal, bank account, or credit card.  Donations in any amount are tax deductible.  No amount is too small (or too large!).  If 50 fans donate $10 each, or 25 give $20, we will have met goal.

To ensure that donations are credited to the group, please leave a note in the comments here OR email us at taylorhicksnews at gmail dot com to let us know you’re coming along for the ride.  No need to specify the amount donated in your email; Vann will let us know when we’ve met goal.

In the meantime, we will periodically provide training and fundraising updates from Vann through THN on twitter.  We are very excited to cycle in tandem with Ride 2 Recovery and look forward to sharing the experience with Vann and all of you.

Put Vann on his bike for 9-11!


For more on Ride 2 Recovery:

For more from Vann Schaffner:

More on Ride 2 Recovery and Taylor Hicks at the Texas Challenge from the archives:

25 Comments Post a comment
  1. juliegr #

    What a great opportunity — and it doesn’t “break the bank”. Thanks for the info and link!

    May 31, 2011
  2. tishtx #

    This is awesome! Thanks for taking on this project. 🙂

    May 31, 2011
  3. Thank you Taylor Hicks News!

    May 31, 2011
  4. Thanks for getting the Soul Patrol involved.
    Having seen the work Ride 2 Recovery does first hand at the San Marcos show, I know this is a worthy cause. And like julie said, this is something we can do to make a difference for a wounded vet that does not cost a great deal.
    Thanks again.

    May 31, 2011
  5. tishtx #

    I’m along for the ride, I just donated. Do you have to know what name is on the donation for it to count for the project? I didn’t put a comment on the paypal donation.

    May 31, 2011
    • Yes, will need to know the name of the individual contributor so that Vann can credit the donation to the “soul patrol” group. Thanks so much for helping, tishtx!!

      May 31, 2011
  6. A world of thanks to Taylor for bringing Ride to Recovery to our attention, and to Vann for doing this — and to THHN for the extended exposure.

    I don’t put my personal info online but I’ll find a way to donate. I believe someone I know is going to ride in this. If he doesn’t, I’ll find another way to get some $ to this worthy cause, for this day that should never be forgotten.

    May 31, 2011
    • Thanks, kaitlin45! If you’d prefer to send a check to Ride 2 Recovery, the mailing address is here:

      Ride 2 Recovery
      23679 Calabasas Rd #420
      Calabasas, CA 91302

      If you write the rider’s name on the “comment” line of the check, the donation will be credited to that cyclist.

      Appreciate your interest!

      May 31, 2011
  7. tishtx #

    Well you already know my name 🙂

    May 31, 2011
  8. Here is a very cool youtube video! Ride 2 Recovery was feature on Extreme Makeover Home Edition when they featured a soldier wounded at the Fort Hood shooting.

    R2R Featured on Extreme Makeover Home Edition:

    June 2, 2011
  9. Mar #

    This is wonderful! Thank you for the information. And thank you Van and R2R for what you are doing for injured vets and the 9/11 responders. Blessing on you & your hard work!

    June 2, 2011
    • Mar #

      Oops, I’m sorry – Vann.

      June 2, 2011
  10. RE: Van vs Vann

    My mother did it to me. ;-D

    June 4, 2011
  11. Terry-Jo Norman #

    Wonderful cause….thank you for supporting and giving us the opportunity to do the same! Mr. Schaffner, you are doing the hard part! We’re with you in spirit! Ride on!!!

    June 6, 2011
  12. mond105 #

    Everybody knows my Rose and my name LOL. I will be donating. Thanks for doing this Van.

    June 9, 2011
    • mond105, Thank you so much for your help! It’s really appreciated. Just to be sure that your name is not misspelled, please email me when you make your donation? The address is taylorhicksnews at gmail dot com. Thanks!

      June 9, 2011
  13. I think you are going to raise $500 and need a new goal. How about a temporary tattoo for $1000? Checking with my son the tattoo artist on how that could be done. No permanent tattoos for me!

    June 11, 2011
  14. The Soul Patrol is awesome! You have helped tremendously. I am only $998 short of the minimum to raise-$2,998. I have vacation time coming up, my goal is to ride 10/hrs per week for two week. That translates into about 150 training miles per week.

    June 24, 2011
  15. Connie #

    The Soul Connection is happy to contribute $50 to Vann and Ride 2 Recovery! Awesome cause to support our troops past and present!

    July 2, 2011
    • Thank you very much to The Soul Connection for your support of Ride 2 Recovery! It’s going to be an incredible ride; we’re very grateful to Vann for doing all the hard work and allowing us to hitch a ride. Thanks again.

      July 2, 2011
  16. Donation of $25,00 was made to Vann by The Taylor Hicks Community The Ride2Recovery effort has been getting some wonderful national publicity recently. Much luck to Vann

    July 2, 2011
    • cath, Thanks very much to you and The Taylor Hicks Community for your support! Vann is in training, and I know he’ll do us proud. I’ll be posting a project update soon, and am so pleased to have so many of Mr. Hicks’ fans involved. Thank you!

      July 2, 2011

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