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Taylor Hicks Fans to Ride Shotgun with Ride 2 Recovery on September 11

When the group leaves the New York area on September 11, fans of musician Taylor Hicks will be riding at the back of the pack.  They’ll ride in the pack, and on the back of cyclist Vann Schaffner throughout the 530 mile event.  Thankfully, the Soul Patrol is a light load to carry.

As a participant in Ride 2 Recovery’s 9-11 American Challenge, Vann will cycle from Liberty State Park in view of the World Trade Center, to the United 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, and then to the Pentagon Memorial.  The eight day ride will honor the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States and 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.

While 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.

Last month we had proposed to adopt Vann for the purpose of supporting Ride 2 Recovery, and had asked the Soul Patrol to co-sign the papers  (  In return, the Navy veteran had offered to embellish the back pocket of his 9-11 American Challenge jersey with a “badge” that would acknowledge the fans’ support.  Today, we’re happy to announce that the papers have been signed, and the targeted donation of $500 has been exceeded ($677 raised to date). The Soul Patrol badge is in the pre-approval phase.

The  design below has been generously donated by graphic artist Jennifer Jacobs and shows Taylor Hicks’ Soul Patrol in a ring of support around Ride 2 Recovery and a central star, consistent with the patriotic theme and colors of previous challenge events.

Once approved, the design will be professionally printed on a weather resistant, fade proof  tyvek treated material for use during the 9-11 ride.  The badge will measure approximately 7.5 x 5.5 inches in size, suitable for application to the jersey’s back pocket.  It will provide a visual affirmation of our support for Ride 2 Recovery and our military.

When the design is finalized and printed sometime later this summer, we look forward to sending every donor to this project their own Soul Patrol “badge”.  We hope that you will pin it proudly to your own cycling jersey or save it as a souvenir of your participation in this project.  You are part of a community, the fan of a celebrity, and the supporter of an organization that not only cares, but puts caring into action.  Simply put, you rock!

While the initial goal has been met, we do hope that new donors will continue to come forward.  We’d like to have as many fans as possible participate in this American Challenge project, regardless of donation level.  Vann has offered to recognize additional contributions as well.  If fundraising reaches a level of at least $1000, our designated cyclist will have the Soul Patrol badge design transferred to a temporary tattoo (or similar), and wear that tattoo during the Challenge ride.

It’s easy to participate.  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!).  Regardless of the final total dollar amount raised, we will be thrilled and proud if a sizeable number of fans choose to ride shotgun on this project.

To ensure that donations are credited to the group, please email us at taylorhicksnews at gmail dot com to let us know you’ve submitted a donation.  We’ll need the donor’s full name in order to doublecheck with Ride 2 Recovery that all contributions have been added to Vann’s rider’s page and credited to the Soul Patrol.

Please accept our sincere gratitude for your ongoing support of Ride 2 Recovery and the 9-11 American Challenge.  All contributions support the non-profit’s rehabilitation programs for servicemen and women with physical and/or mental injuries.


Addendum: The Ride 2 Recovery Normandy Challenge is currently in progress in France.  Wounded warriors and supporters are cycling through historic World War II sites.  Please enjoy a few photos of the Challenge below, and visit the non-profit’s Facebook page for more information and photographs:!/pages/Ride-2-Recovery/158096691111




32 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m a Marine Mom, grateful to all our vets & active service members for their sacrifices. I thank God every day my Marine was never wounded during his 5 deployments! I appreciate this great support organization for those who have been.

    It’s Wonderful to see the good response form the Soul Patrol. Very cool about the ride in Normandy! I was there a few years ago. It’s overwhelming.

    July 5, 2011
    • Thanks, NolaMar, and please thank your son for his service. I’m glad he’s safe and home. Home to stay, I hope?

      July 5, 2011
  2. Do we know how close we are to the goal set for supporting our ride, monetarily? I donated and will give again if we have not yet met our goal. Many thanks for whatever info you can provide to this forever in her heart NYer who will never forget 9/11 nor the sacrifices of our troops, our police, and our firefighters.

    July 5, 2011
  3. P.S. Sorry; I’m going to need the physical address again, which you can send to my email address, if you would be so kind. Thanks again.

    July 5, 2011
    • Thank you, kaitlin45! I’ve sent you an email including the physical mailing address.

      July 5, 2011
  4. Louise #

    This project and all of the work Holley has done to make this a reality just warms my heart. This is a great organization and the people who benefit from our donations really need and deserve the support.

    Thanks again for all you do and thanks to Vann for being our rider and carrying us all with him.

    (Kaitlin: the amount raised is in the blog above; $677 so far.) The fans have surpassed the ‘badge’ level and are now approaching the ‘tattoo’ level.

    July 5, 2011
    • Thank you, Louise! It’s so wonderful that Taylor’s fans pull together for a project like this. The Soul Patrol is a generous and caring group of people; I’m grateful to be a member. Thanks again.

      July 5, 2011
  5. Louise #

    I did not mean to forget Jenni in my last post. Jenni, thank you for your stellar work. The badge is beautiful and poignant in it’s design. It’s perfect. Thanks for your contribution to this project.

    July 5, 2011
  6. Blues Rider #

    What a wonderful undertaking and write-up for such a commemorative event. Sincere kudos THN. And a huge thank you to Jennifer for the professional graphics work volunteered for the endeavor. A big thanks to all.

    July 5, 2011
  7. tishtx #

    The badge is just perfect! Thanks Jenni for a wonderful job and also thanks Holley for putting in so much time for this project. 🙂 I was so excited to see the tweet yesterday about “finding” Taylor’s badge and hoping that it meant the Soul Patrol had reached the initial goal set for donations. Let’s keep it going for this wonderful cause. 🙂

    July 5, 2011
    • Thanks so much for your help with this project, tishtx! I’m pretty excited, too.

      July 5, 2011
  8. juliegr #

    Is there any detail for the PayPal contribution? I don’t see an icon for one. Otherwise, I’ll send a check but will need the physical address also. Thanks

    July 5, 2011
    • Thank you, juliegr!

      PayPal: Click on this donation link:

      On the left side of the donation page, it offers the option to “sponsor a rider”. Enter Vann Schaffner’s name here. Then look down. You’ll see a yellow “Donate” button. Click on the button and it will take you to the PayPal donation page where you can enter a donation amount and log into your PayPal account.

      Should you have any difficulty, the physical mailing address for Ride 2 Recovery is:

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

      If you write Vann Schaffner’s name on the “comment” line of the check, the donation should be credited to his rider’s page. If you also find room to write “Soul Patrol, that will increase the likelihood that the donation is appropriately credited.

      Please drop me a note when the donation is sent; I’ll check with R2R to make sure it’s appropriately logged. Thanks again!!

      July 5, 2011
  9. The whole Normandy album on their facebook page is wonderful. It brought me to tears looking through it.

    Failed to mention it in my 1st post too – Great job Jenni, and thanks for the all the work that went into it. 🙂

    July 6, 2011
  10. Thanks, THN for sending the physical addy again. 🙂 Rock on, Riders. Rock on, Soul Patrol. Rock on, Taylor Hicks: our continuing inspiration!!!

    July 6, 2011
  11. Louise, thanks for the update … I just read your post above, now. Good news!!!

    July 6, 2011
  12. Once again into the breech … 🙂 Sorry, I was running to get to the office before. I did mean to thank Jenni, Holley, and anyone else who contributed to this great event. I’d received a letter, a real letter and not an email, from John Wordin, Executive Director of R2R, thanking me for my initial donation; the letter was dated June 9th. But it didn’t make mention of Van or the SP, although I did reference them on the subject line of the check. I’m sure it’s all going to the correct fund, but as THN said above, they may want to double check. I’m sure R2R is receiving many donations from many groups as well as individuals. Thanks again, and NolaMar, thank you to your son as well. This ride, in particular, means a lot to me.

    July 6, 2011
    • Thank you, kaitlin. I’m going to check to make sure that your donation is appropriately credited. The Ride 2 Recovery staff is in Europe this week for the Normandy Challenge, but when they return next week, I’ll ask them to make sure that your check was posted to Vann’s rider’s account. I’ll email you next week with an update; thanks for your generosity and your patience!

      July 6, 2011
  13. Thanks, THN. No problem. Shall I alert you when the next donation goes out (tomorrow or Friday)? I’ll be certain to put Van’s name & the SP on that check as well … maybe a sticky note too. I’m sure this is a lot for you to follow up with, so again, many thanks for all you’ve done for this wonderful project!

    July 6, 2011
  14. HOOAH! to the Soul Patrol!

    July 6, 2011
    • Louise #

      Thanks Vann for your inspiration! And for taking the ride with all of us on your ‘back’. Safe travels!

      July 6, 2011
  15. Howdy back, Vann, and many thanks. You’re starting this ride from Jersey?

    July 6, 2011
  16. juliegr #

    I’ll be following your progress both in the “traditional” media and on my favorite internet sites. Just made my contribution to help your cause and thank you for riding with your “Soul Patrol badge” on your shirt.

    Good luck and thanks for honoring our wounded warriors!

    July 8, 2011
    • juliegr, thank you for supporting Vann and Ride 2 Recovery. I’ll track your donation to make sure it’s credited to Vann’s rider’s page. Thanks!!

      July 8, 2011
  17. Louise #

    Yay!!! Thanks THN for involvement in this project. Can’t wait to see that badge on Vann’s bike jersey riding from the WTC to PA.
    Very beautiful badge design, too. Thanks Jenni!

    July 21, 2011
  18. Thanks for all of the support! Over $800 from the “Soul Patrol”! Training is going well. I am getting in a lot of 30 and 40 mile rides in on the weekend, shorter during the week. The ride guide is out. This will be once in a lifetime event. THANK YOU FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF WOUNDED VETS!

    July 28, 2011
    • Vann, we are so excited for the 9-11 American Challenge, and very appreciative of your willingness to allow us to participate in a small way. We’ll be cheering for you and the other riders throughout the event. Looking forward to your ride time updates!

      July 29, 2011
  19. Van, thank You for doing this, particularly on a day that holds great meaning for us all..

    July 29, 2011

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