Dream Ride

Dream Ride Celebrates 20 Years of Giving Back to CT Special Olympics

NBC Universal, Inc.

Twenty years later, the annual Dream Ride is still focused on giving back to Connecticut's Special Olympics and the Hometown Foundation.

The Dream Ride is an opportunity for bikers and their clubs to drive 40 miles across the state. It's an effort that dates back two decades with a goal of fundraising and supporting CT Special Olympics.

Melissa Fortin and her son Dillon arrived for their second straight year to check out some of the antique cars and motorcycles.

More than 100 bikers participated in this year's Dream for Ride event.

Dillon has down syndrome and is considered non-verbal.

"For the first time in Dillon's life, he was part of an event that made him feel accepted and included," said Fortin. "The people participating in the ride were very welcoming and they embraced Dillon and made us feel at home."

Local and national bikers and their clubs show up to talk with athletes and let them see their rides.

Members of the Buffalo Soldiers convene before they embark on the 40-mile trip across Connecticut. Buffalo Soldiers is a national biker club with more than 112 chapters across the U.S. The group is named after the historic African-American United States Army Unit.

"We like to show them the motorcycles and understand the importance of safely riding the bikes," said Paul Stringer, a member of the Buffalo Soldiers. "We do what we need to do to make sure that we represent the club and also take care of our communities."

The COVID19 pandemic provided a slightly different feel this year with masks and social distancing but the focus is on the athletes.

"We want to let people know that we haven't forgotten about them," said William Donovan, a member with the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club. "There are 2,000 motorcycles who just showed up to support and raise funds for the Special Olympics."

The Dream Ride is one of the largest charity motorcycle rides in the state. The proceeds from the Dream Ride will directly help the Hometown Foundation and the Special Olympics.

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