Highlighted by an exclusive reception and fund-raising event featuring Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Florent “Flo” Groberg (Ret.) at the Horvath’s gorgeous home before the ride and the participation of nearly 400 riders, the Honor Ride raised more than $200,000 in support of Veterans and First Responders.
“First, a remarkable evening with Medal of Honor Recipient Florent Groberg,” said Susie Horvath. “And then, the fourth consecutive year of Honor Ride Ohio, number one in America in both fundraising at more than $220,000 in 2017 and participation of more than 1,000 riders and volunteers, besting places like Chicago and Las Vegas.”
In 2012, retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent “Flo” Groberg was serving in Afghanistan and protecting coalition and Afghan National Army personnel. He prevented two insurgents from detonating suicide bombs and saved the lives he was charged with protecting. As a result, Groberg sustained the loss of 50 percent of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a damaged eardrum and mild traumatic brain injury. Groberg, who was awarded the Medal of Honor on November 12, 2015, spoke movingly to Project Hero supporters at the fund-raising event.
The Project Hero 2017 Ohio Honor Ride started and finished in idyllic New Albany at the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany and offered 12-, 35- and 65-mile routes for cyclists of all levels. Local sponsors included OrthoNeuro and Orthopedic Foundation,
Big Lots Foundation, IGS Energy, American Eagle Outfitters, DSW and Fifth Third Bank.
Local riders included Stephen White, general counsel for Ohio Senator Rob Portman who spoke as part of the opening ceremonies, and 13-year-old Aiden Schnider from New Albany, who was riding with his Dad in his second Honor Ride Ohio and celebrating his recent birthday on a new bike. After 35-mile training sessions in preparation for this year’s ride, Aiden felt pretty good when he finished. “I feel great,” he said. “But my Dad’s gonna be hurting tomorrow!”
“Our town center on Market Street and the surrounding countryside provide a beautiful and safe setting for a large-scale cycling event,” said Peter Horvath. “And this is a community with a history of folks coming together to make remarkable things happen, whether they are building great schools, promoting healthy lifestyles, or recognizing and helping those who serve to protect and enable our freedom.”
“I’m proud to say it’s become a given,” added Susie Horvath. “It’s simply what we do in New Albany. New Albany is uniquely positioned to be the perfect place to host a Memorial Day ride honoring and helping Veterans, and the proof is in the results with 2017.”
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