RIVERSIDE, Calif. (FOX 11) - What started as a small group of 8 riders has now blossomed into an annual event that attracts upwards of 7,500 motorcyclists, becoming an honored and celebrated annual tradition, remembering all the fallen soldiers.
The West Coast Thunder event started early with performances, vendors, a guest speaker, and a Commencement Ceremony by the West Coast Thunder Color Guard. The riders will begin their ride from the Riverside Harley-Davidson dealership and continue their journey to the Riverside National Cemetery for the Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony.
West Coast Thunder was founded in 2000 by founders Pat Delahunty, Steve Cifelli, Steve Aragon, George Helton, Lucky and Theresa Delaney, Richard Greenberg and D.J. Quinn after Delahunty became inspired by the documentary film, "Letters from the Trenches." Delahunty organized a small group of motorcycle riders from his Inland Empire H.O.G Chapter to ride to the Riverside National Cemetery for their annual Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony.
The West Coast Thunder has donated in excess of $600,000 to the Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee and continue to raise funds for the support committee in assistance to the Riverside National Cemetery. The funds are used for purchasing flower cones, assistance in monthly burials, and erecting monuments in honor of those who have served their country.
Projects that West Coast Thunder has assisted in funding include the construction of the National POW/MIA Memorial, repairs to the Medal of Honor Memorial, financial support to the RNC Memorial Honor Detail and funding the annual Concert for Heroes event.
For more information about the schedule of events for the West Coast Rolling Thunder, visit their website.