Like all of you, when we heard Artie Muller, National Executive Director of Rolling Thunder, had made the decision to quit Washington, D.C., we felt a sense of loss.
It took Columbus, Ohio no time at all to do what Artie asked his Chapters to do, i.e., organize regional events.
Our State of Ohio government; City of Columbus officials; countless business, veteran and rider groups and Ohio’s seven Rolliing Thunder chapters came together to plan what would have been a phenomenal event last Memorial Day weekend.We were undone by Covid and a decision Artie made to cancel all Rolling Thunder events nationwide.
Since then, we have been told by Artie that he now required that he would run our event from New Jersey.
He intended the following:
A. We would raise all our seed money and send it to him;
B. He would pay our bills for us (but not support us financially);
C. Any of the proceeds, after paying all bills, would be donated by him;
D. None of our charitable proceeds would be available to any organization to include our declared purpose to contribute 50% of our funds to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (our Nation’s only such institution celebrating all branches of our military throughout our history of conflicts). Further, our ability to contribute to other local, State and National veteran causes would be disallowed.
In effect, Artie’s decisions meant that we would do all the work, take all the risk, raise all the funds but have no ability to determine how our charitable funds might be distributed.
As a result, we have decided to cut ties with Rolling Thunder.
We have re-organized as“The National Ride for Freedom”.
We have re-incorporated, and received IRS support for retaining our 501c(3) status under our new name.
While we will no longer use the Rolling Thunder name in any of our efforts, we have received expressions of continuing support from many involved in our Ohio Rolling Thunder chapters.
We remain humbled by the support of so many—especially yours!
And we look forward to seeing you here in Columbus on Memorial Day Weekend 2021 !