2013 Warrior Ride Kicks Off; Pays it Forward to Military Families

Posted at 5:02 AM, Sep 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-12 05:02:50-04

schoonhovenNEW BUFFALO, Mich. — For the eighth year, supporters of the annual Warrior Ride will get on their bicycles and travel about 250 miles to benefit the families of people who have served in the armed forces.

The ride is put on by the Corporal Christopher Kelly Willis Foundation, which provides college scholarships to children in Michigan who lost a parent in a combat zone.

The ride will start in New Buffalo, and then participants will go through South Haven, Holland, and Fort Custer National Cemetery. They will also stop in Bronson Park in Kalamazoo, where a group of “Last Leg” riders will join for the final stretch to the Kalamazoo Country Club.

This year’s event will benefit Staff Sergeant Mark Schoonhoven’s children. He was serving in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device hit his unit. He spent 5 weeks in a coma before he died in January. Sgt. Schoonhoven left behind children, step-children, and another child who was dependent on him.

Sgt. Schoonhoven’s children, step-children, and dependents will receive college scholarships that add up to at least $60,000.