Inaugural ‘Ride With A Mission’ raises thousands to support New Hampshire’s veterans

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The inaugural ride raised more than $12,500, exceeding its initial fundraising target. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH  – Ride With A Mission, a program under the umbrella of Swim With A Mission, embarked on its inaugural journey May 4, marking a significant milestone in community support for Veterans. With a pressing need to bolster funding for crucial Veteran programs, Swim With A Mission expanded its event portfolio.

The 1st Annual Ride With A Mission attracted over 100 participants to join a scenic motorcycle ride fundraiser, aimed at both raising essential funds and fostering awareness for Veterans’ needs. The route, which started and ended at Manchester Harley Davidson, wound through Southern New Hampshire, offering riders a picturesque journey while paying homage to the memory of fallen New Hampshire Service Members who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Global War On Terror.

The event commenced with a moving rendition of the National Anthem sung by Officer Taylor Morin of the Manchester PD, followed by the Blessing of the Bikes led by Manchester Police (Ret) Lieutenant, Father Thomas Steinmetz of Our Lady of the Cedars Parish in Manchester. Retired Navy SEALs: Sal DeFranco, Wayne Siegmund, and Matt Anthony, then honored the 95 New Hampshire service members who made the ultimate sacrifice since the beginning of the Global War On Terror with a reading of the Honor Wall. The somberness of the occasion was punctuated by TAPS, played by Lynn “Coach” Santosuosso of NH Combat Vets, CVMA NH 5-1. The motorcycles roared to life at 10:00 am, embarking on their journey before returning to Manchester Harley-Davidson for a celebratory BBQ and drinks.


Photo Gallery by Jeffrey Hastings


Originally conceived in 2020 by high school student Ethan Fraitzl as his senior project, the ride faced a setback due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Undeterred, Ethan, now serving in the United States Coast Guard, along with his father Paul, facilitated a revival of the event through a community outreach opportunity provided by The Hartford, Paul’s employer. Together, they partnered with Swim With A Mission to orchestrate the ride, envisioning it as a powerful symbol of support for New Hampshire’s Veteran community while honoring the memory of fallen service members.

Manchester Harley-Davidson, serving as the Main Event Sponsor for Ride With A Mission, demonstrated their commitment to community empowerment. With deep roots in the local motorcycle landscape, Manchester Harley-Davidson and High-Octane Harley-Davidson in Billerica stood as the “Harley Motorcycle” Main Sponsors, while E&R Cleaners proudly supported as the “Indian Motorcycle” Event Sponsor. Other notable sponsors included Mindy’s Mission, Best Cycle & Best Ford of Nashua, and Gear Up Bedford.

The inaugural Ride With A Mission raised over $12,500, exceeding its initial target, and will continue to grow and make a tangible impact in the Veteran community. The ride was organized by committee co-chairs Paul Fraitzl and Ethan Fraitzl, with support from Stephanie Ouellette, Sarah Cadden, Peter Burdett, and Kevin Sullivan. Anticipation is already building for the 2nd Annual Ride With A Mission, promising to return next year with even greater enthusiasm, support, and a renewed dedication to honoring our Veterans. To learn more about Ride With A Mission and or Swim With A Mission, visit www.swam.org.


About Swim With A Mission

Swim With A Mission (SWAM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Veterans and their families through various fundraisers, programs, and initiatives. SWAM’s mission is to harnesses the creativity and networks of its principal supporters to raise money to strengthen and support worthy organizations that service, support and honor Veterans. Founded on the belief that Veterans deserve the utmost respect, gratitude, and support for their service and sacrifice, Swim With A Mission strives to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who have served. For more information, visit www.swam.org.


 

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