Veterans group hopes for improvements at Veterans Park
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent August 4, 2012 8:38PM
The American Veterans Motorcycle Riders Association Chapter 13 in Hobart wants to help improve Veterans Memorial Park in Hobart starting with the groups Run for the Park motorcycle run August 25th. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
If you go
What: Run for the Park motorcycle run and party
When: Aug. 25. Sign-up starts at 9 a.m. Ride starts at noon.
Where: Festival Park, 111 E. Old Ridge Road, Hobart.
Who: Held by American Veterans Motorcycle Riders Association Chapter 13, Hobart Jaycees and city of Hobart
Cost: $20 per single/$25 for double includes escorted ride, food ticket and two drink tickets.
How: Pay at the event.
About: The event includes a motorcycle run, live bands, beer garden, raffles and food. Proceeds will go towards improvements at Hobart’s Veterans Park at 73rd Avenue and Indiana 51.
Updated: September 6, 2012 6:24AM
HOBART — Ron “Doc” Bishop believes the city’s Veterans Park is a nice park but not as nice as a veterans group would like it to be.
“The monument’s not finished, we want more shelters and playground equipment,” Bishop told the City Council during a recent meeting.
But Bishop, who’s commander of American Veterans Motorcycle Riders Association Chapter 13 in Hobart, wasn’t just complaining; he announced the organization would provide financial help to improve the park every year until it meets the association’s satisfaction in addition to other veterans-related concerns.
Bishop said all the proceeds generated from its Run for the Park motorcycle run and party, whose inaugural event will take place Aug. 25 at Festival Park, will go toward Veterans Park. He said the association could probably give the city between $25,000 and $50,000 a year.
“We do fundraisers to help veterans and veterans’ causes, and this is definitely a veterans’ cause,” Bishop said.
Bishop said the monument still needs a tank and cannon, and his group would like to help pay for a concrete foundation to put them on. He also would like to see a gazebo bandshell and electric power similar to that at Festival Park so concerts, and the motorcycle run, could be held at Veterans Park in the future. He also would like to see more restrooms and more benches around the monument for the elderly to sit on during ceremonies.
“I want more people to utilize this park, especially veterans,” Bishop said.
Bishop’s offer of help comes as good news to the city, said councilman Jerry Herzog,
D-1st, who is working on getting a static display of military vehicles at the park.
“This is a godsend for the city. We always believe in working with local organizations,” Herzog said.
Herzog said enough money has been raised to transport the vehicles, which could include a tank, to Hobart, but there are no available free vehicles at this time.
Bishop said in addition to the motorcycle ride, Run for the Park also will include bands, a beer garden, raffles and food. He said many of the bands are donating their time, and he is looking for a volunteer to do the sound system for free.
The veterans group also supports other military-related causes. For instance, it provided money to help Exceptional Equestrians Unlimited in Hobart purchase two horses to be used for a Horses for Heroes program for disabled veterans that EEU hopes to start soon.
The veterans association also purchased five concrete stepping stones with different branches of the military on them to be placed at the Doughboy Monument. Bishop is working with Mayor Brian Snedecor to have a Veterans Memorial Bridge behind City Hall and perhaps a memorial closer to the water.
“Once Veterans Park is complete, we’ll look at doing projects downtown,” Herzog said.