On 24 December 2017 the Green Swamp Chapter of the Nam Knights of America celebrated our five year anniversary. The first year was dedicated to purchasing and developing our clubhouse in Lake County. During the following four years we put many miles on our bikes, enjoyed the Brotherhood of other chapters and fulfilled the mission of the Nam Knights. We raised over $71,000 in support of Lake County Veterans and Law Enforcement Officers in need.
In 2017 we continued the Charles “Frenchie” Collette Scholarships, awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving High School ROTC senior with plans of making the military a career. Congratulations to Cassidy Stone for receiving this scholarship. In addition to the ROTC scholarship we give three $500 scholarships to three students who plan on continuing on to a career in public safety. Congratulations to Michael Holmes, Nicole Feliciano and Aaron Makle for meeting all the requirements in order to receive these awards.
In February we rode out to Baldomero Lopez, State Veterans Nursing Home in Land O’ Lakes, cooked a Bar-B-Q lunch and hung out with a great group of American Heroes.
In April we participated in the Leesburg Bikefest by manning the bar at Gator Harley. The hours were long but it provided great Brotherhood while working the bar. We worked just for tips but we were able to earn some money in support of our mission.
In April we served on a committee with the city of Eustis to bring the Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall to Eustis. We organized a ride, escorted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Motor Unit, to Eustis where we helped construct the wall.
The following day we organized a ride from Gator Harley to the wall where we held a ceremony and honored the memory of over 58,000 names on the wall.
In June we attended the Lake County “Cops and Kids” event and presented Sheriff Grinell with a check in the amount of $500 in support of this program. This is a very worthwhile event that helps bring the youth of Lake County together. We commend the Sheriff’s office for conducting this program and we will continue to support it.
In September we supported One Team One Fight 4 PTSD by manning the bar at Gator Harley and donating $900. This is an organization providing real help to Veterans.
Later in the month we donated $1,000.00 to the Lake County Motor Unit for an entry fee to participate in a fundraiser to benefit The Special Olympics.
In December we held our fifth annual Christmas in the Swamp Dinner. The weather didn’t cooperate this year but that did not keep folks from this great event. This is a community event where all are welcome and we had a great group of folks who braved the bad weather and came out to support the children of Lake County in need.
We serve a traditional Christmas dinner and collect toys for needy children in Lake County. This year we served dinner to over 150 guests and collected over 500 toys.
During the event we donated a YETY cooler valued at over $900 to the Lake County Motor Unit to be raffled off and the proceeds will benefit The Lake County Sheriff’s Charities.
In December we participated in Wreaths Across America and laid wreaths on the graves of Veterans buried by The Last Ride, fallen Brothers and family members.
In addition to the aforementioned donations we gave over $5,000 to help meet the many needs of Veterans, Law Enforcement Officers and our community bringing our overall total giving to over $10,000 for the year.
We want to thank all those who participated in this effort for your amazing generosity and hard work.
A special thanks to the Lake County Motor Unit. They are always there in support of our mission.