Grand Marshal Jay Leno, Foo Fighters and Social Distortion joined thousands of music fans, motorcycle enthusiasts and veterans in support of Wounded Warrior Project.
Jay Leno, Foo Fighters, Social Distortion and a star-studded cast of riders including the Harley-Davidson Royal Family—Willie G, Nancy, Bill and Karen Davidson—actors Peter Fonda, Robert Patrick, Emilio Rivera, Lorenzo Lamas, Kristy Swanson, George Gray, Sean McNabb, Phillip Winchester, Mark Boone Junior and countless others joined forces on October 18th, 2015 in Lake Castaic and Glendale, CA to support the Love Ride Grand Finale concert and festival— the largest and longest-running one day motorcycle charitable fundraising event in the world celebrating 32 years.
Over $1,000,000 in charitable funds were raised to help veterans in need through the Wounded Warrior Project. The event was put on by an army of 750 volunteers organized by the Love Ride Foundation.
The Love Ride was born out of a labor of love. Founded in 1984 by Harley-Davidson of Glendale dealer, Oliver Shokouh, the festival has since raised over $25 million in charitable funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), Reading by 9, United Service Organization (USO), Autism Speaks, LA Times Literacy Program, Glendale Community College and Wounded Warrior Project, amongst others The Love Ride festival has been the largest and longest-running one day motorcycle charitable fundraising event in the world. Grand Marshall Jay Leno has led thousands of riders from Harley-Davidson of Glendale, CA, to Lake Castaic annually to raise money for those in need and to enjoy a great party. Not everyone rode motorcycles; many came in cars as well to enjoy the lake site and enjoy the amazing music by bands like ZZ Top, The Black Crows, Sheryl Crowe and many more popular musicians throughout the years. There have been a host of surprise musical celebrity guests, custom bike and stunt shows, gourmet food trucks, vendor exhibition fairs and drawings for exclusive motorcycle items and prizes. The Grand Finale was bitter sweet but all agreed, it couldn’t have been more of a success.
The final recipient of the Grand Finale Love Ride is Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). The mission of WWP is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP ’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
Veterans in attendance included Petty Officer 3rd Class, Mr. Raymond “Doc” Andalio who served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman (medic) for 12 years. In 2003 in Iraq, Doc sustained wartime injuries causing many broken bones, brain damage, respiratory disorders and mental stress. The Wounded Warrior Project has provided the support he needed to have a second chance at life:
“Wounded Warrior Project and the Love Ride have our backs. I am deeply grateful to all the attendees who helped. I met so many motorcyclists who were vets, and being around all those people and love felt like heaven. Raising money for awareness shouldn’t be a job; it should be shared and given with an open heart. And it showed with this last Love Ride Grand Finale. The one million dollars from everyone there will not only make a difference to a lot of people now—but also in the future. “
Riders and attendees who participated in fundraising contests won prizes such as a 2015 Harley-Davidson Black Street Glide motorcycle, an all-expense paid trip to the famous Harley-Davidson Factory and Museum in Milwaukee Wisconsin, a tour of Jay Leno’s Garage and more. Full winners listed at www.loveride.org.
This year’s Love Ride headliner concert was the FOO FIGHTER S with lead singer Dave Grohl. Quick Throttle interviewed Dave who thinks so highly of Oliver Shokouh that he purchased several bikes from him at Glendale Harley-Davidson. Dave is an avid rider so when he was asked to play Love Ride, he didn’t even hesitate. Dave Grohl and fellow lead man Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters have both played Love Ride in previous years when Dave was solo and Taylor with the band Chevy Metal, always donating their time to the biker community in and amongst their very busy tour schedules. This year, they joined by Social Distortion.
Social Distortion’s Mike Ne says “We’ve wanted to be a part of the Love Ride for years now, so we are stoked that our friends the Foo Fighters asked us to be involved for the final ride; which makes it bitter sweet. Founder Oliver Shook and the Love Ride Foundation have done an amazing job over the years raising money and awareness for many great organizations, so we’re looking forward to contributing to this year’s effort and doing our part in raising awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. This incredible group of people assists our wounded service members with their injuries, illness’, create support networks, help with their transition back into civilian life and more. We’re honored to be performing this year and we’re looking forward to a great day of rock ’n’ roll for a great cause.” – Mike Ness, Social Distortion.
After 32 years of service, this was the Love Ride’s final curtain call.
In the words of the festival’s founder, Mr. Oliver Shokouh: “It’s been my honor to serve these causes for decades. And I’m eternally grateful for the outpouring of support that so many gave this year as we ride off into the sunset with over $1,000,000 raised for Wounded Warrior Project and a total legacy of over $25,000,000 for charities to date. Lives are changed because of your attendance and participation over these years and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
We at Quick Throttle Magazine have been honored to take part in The Love Ride for the past 15 years. Chris and Lisa Dalgaard and the Quick Throttle family would like to personally thank Oliver Shokouh, his daughter Emily and son Richard for their tremendous contribution to the motorcycle community and to our entire society. They were the instrument in changing many lives for the better and for helping the biker community do what they love to do most, help others. Thank you for 32 years.