Thunder Run helps financially strapped military families

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – With people across the nation struggling to pay bills, this year’s Dixie Thunder Run comes at a good time.
Organizer Tony Shackleford said the second leg of the sixth annual Dixie Thunder Run will be held Sept. 3, Labor Day weekend. The run is a fundraiser for Operation First Response, which provides emergency funds to military families who encounter economic hardships.
More than 2,000 motorcycle riders participated in the first leg of the event held Memorial Day weekend, and Shackleford hopes to have more this time around.
“This event raises money to help members of every branch of the military,” said Shackleford. “We know how hard things can be on families when a soldier is deployed or injured, so the money we raise during this event every year helps those families.”
Registration for the run will be at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 3 at the BancorpSouth Arena. It costs $25 a person and that gets you a Dixie Thunder Run T-shirt and lunch. The motorcycles will pull out at 9 a.m. heading to Chunky River Harley Davidson in Meridian.
But the real fun will begin Nov. 19 on the final ride from Southern Thunder Harley Davidson in Southhaven to Tunica where an $80,0000 motorcycle will be auctioned off. Raffle tickets can be purchased at www.Dixiethunderrun.net for $10. A concert featuring 3 Doors Down will be held after the raffle.
Shackleford wants everyone to join in on the fun.
“This is for a great cause,” he said. “We have the best military in the world and this is something we can do to help them and their families.”