By Nick Kaye
Special to The Weekly
STOCKTON SPRINGS — A benefit motorcycle ride will be held Saturday, July 19, in honor of Master Sgt. Ryan C. Love of Frankfurt, an active-duty Marine who died in July 2012. Proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and the Semper Fi Fund.
A graduate of Searsport District High School, Love joined the Marines in 1997. He was stationed in Kosovo and the Mediterranean, and served two tours of duty in Iraq. He is survived by his wife, Leslie Love; their daughter, Liberty Ryan Love; and his parents, Matt Love of Frankfort and Valerie Colpitts of Levant.
“Ryan was the closest thing to my heart, and I just want to keep his memory alive as long as I live,” said Raye Marie Rolston, Love’s mother-in-law. Rolston is organizing the events with her nephew, Cleon Buzzell, for the second year in a row.
“Ryan’s Ride” will begin at 10 a.m. at Steamboat Sunoco on Route 1 in Searsport. Participants will ride up the east side of the Penobscot River to Brewster’s Fine Food and Drink at 359 Wilson St., Brewer, and then ride down the west side of the river to Rolston’s home at 64 Station St., Stockton Springs.
The event will conclude with a lunch featuring finger rolls, different types of salad, desserts and more. DJ Dedz will provide music, including “Ryan’s favorites — Toby Keith and Johnny Cash,” Rolston said.
Rolston will lead the ride on Love’s motorcycle, which she had shipped from California to Maine to keep for his daughter until she’s old enough. The motorcycle did not start properly at last year’s ride, but it has been repaired since.
Last year’s event attracted more than 100 riders and generated approximately $8,000 toward the Wounded Warrior Project and the Semper Fi Fund. “It completely exceeded my expectations,” said Rolston.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit veteran service organization that offers programs, events and services for veterans wounded in the military action after Sept. 1, 2001, and the Semper Fi Fund is a nonprofit that offers financial assistance to wounded Marine’s and their families.
This year’s event has received community support from Steamboat Sunoco, D. L. Poulin Inc. and other other area businesses. Angler’s Restaurant recently held a fundraising evenings for “Ryan’s Ride” at its three locations, as well.
The rain date for Ryan’s Ride is Sunday, June 20.
Ride registration is $20 per motorcycle and rider, $10 per non-motorcyclist, and $10 per passenger. Donations may be made to: Raye Rolston, 64 Station St, Stockton Springs, ME 04981.
For information, contact Rolston at 322-7276 and Buzzell at 321-482-7498.