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2014 Events


Thank you for joining MMAF at these great events in 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014, 12:00 P.M.

Ninth Annual Patriot Ride, Lions Park, Ham Lake, MN

The Minnesota Patriot Guard and Dennis Kirk presented the 2014 Patriot Ride at Lions Park on Saturday, June 14, 2014. The 50 mile charity motorcycle ride drew over 1,000 riders, who battled rain and heavy wind, to show their support for Minnesota’s service members and their families. Participants enjoyed live music, food, a parachute jump from the Patriot Parachute Team, the Donnie Smith Bike Show and featured speakers throughout the day. The afternoon Military Recognition Program honored Wounded Warriors and Gold Star Families for their service and sacrifices, providing a powerful message to everyone in attendance. This year’s ride benefited MMAF along with the Minnesota Patriot Guard and Warrior Dog Foundation. Click here to see more of the 2014 Patriot Ride. 


Saturday, June 21, 2014, 12:00 P.M.

Eighth Freedom Run, Minnesota Lake, MN

The Eighth annual Freedom Run, a 100 mile motorcycle and classic car rally through scenic south central Minnesota, drew hundreds of participants to show their support for Minnesota’s members and their families. The morning began with remarks from event organizers and local service members who illustrated why the Freedom Run continues to be a great way to show support for veterans and their families. Upon returning to Minnesota Lake after the ride, participants enjoyed live music, a hog roast, live auction and prizes. The Eighth Annual Freedom Run raised over $22,500 dollars for Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund. Learn more about the Freedom Run


Sunday, July 6, 2014, 1:00 P.M.

Minnesota Twins Military Day, Target Field

The Minnesota Twins honored 4 Purple Heart recipients at Target Field prior to the Sunday, July 6 game against the New York Yankees as part of Military Appreciation Day. MMAF Co-Founder General Dennis Schulstad was on hand to award grant checks to SGT Justin Hattesohl, SSG Thomas Keane, CPL Ethan Nagel and CPL Tanner Wichmann. The Twins were honored to have Governor Dayton in attendance to help recognize Minnesota’s military and their families, while General Jack Vessey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a strong supporter of MMAF, threw out a ceremonial first pitch. The Twins will also honor WWII Veterans for the 70th anniversary of D-Day and liberation of Italy.  


Tuesday, August 12, 2014 6:30 P.M.

Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show Team

The Twin Cities River Rats hosted their sixth annual Military benefit show on Tuesday, August 12. The team took to the water on a beautiful evening in front of a crowd of over 2,000 people who had turned out to show their support for Minnesota service members and their families. SSG Scott Adams, a longtime member of the MMAF Steering Committee, addressed the crowd to thank them for their support and awarded a grant check to SGT Kyle Kissinger, of St. Paul. The Rats put on another great show with outstanding performances by barefoot skiers, ski-jumpers, and a 30 foot high human pyramid to cap off the night. For more information on the River Rats, Click Here!


Saturday, August 23, 2014, 8:30 A.M.

Leech Lake Area Ride for Vets - Walker Area American Legion Post 134

With the forecast predicting rain, the Legion Riders, American Legion Post # 134 Walker, prepared for their 3rd annual Ride for Vets with partial proceeds from this fundraiser donated to MMAF,  87 motorcycle riders joined the Legion Riders, and rain or shine participated in the 100+ mile ride through northern Minnesota.  Before the ride, Cheri Ford awarded a cash grant in the amount of $2,000 to Staff Sergeant James Braatz, a Purple Heart recipient injured on January 20, 2014 while deployed to Afghanistan.  SSG Braatz lives in Brainerd and was attached to the 849th Engineer Company from Litchfield, MN.  SSG Braatrz is still under VA medial care due to numerous pieces of shrapnel still needing removal from his back and legs. Showing their support for Minnesota’s service members and their families, the Legion Riders donated $7,500 to MMAF, bringing their total fundraising donations to $20,000. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:00 A.M.

Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair held its annual Military Appreciation Day on Tuesday, August 26 as veterans and current service members and their families received discounted admission into the fairgrounds, which was evident with a record crowd of 133,595 people coming through the gates. This year brought a new location for MMAF and the other veteran’s organizations taking part in the day, bringing more traffic than ever before. MMAF handed out Hundreds of t-shirts and “Thanks” pins and over 500 postcards were filled out to be sent to Minnesotans serving abroad.