A group of local veterans and law enforcement officers recently made a big impact on some of their own. The Valrico chapter of the Nam Knights of America donated $4,000 to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Memorial Foundation and $4,000 to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation last month thanks to money raised at the group’s annual fundraiser.
The Nam Knights of America is a motorcycle club that has 70 chapters throughout the country, 14 in Florida. The group’s missions are to honor the memory of American Veterans and Police Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, to assist veterans and police officers in their time of need and to promote community awareness through sponsorships and participation in various fundraising events.
“We are a group of like-minded people who want to give back to the community while creating a bond with others,” said Westside Chapter President Todd Harr, who served in the United States Army for 25 years and now lives in FishHawk Ranch. “Our members are some of the most solid men I have ever known.”
According to Harr, the group is evenly made up of police officers, both active and retired, and military veterans and active duty service members. All members ride Harley-Davidson Motor Company or custom-built motorcycles with an engine displacement of 750cc or above.
“While we don’t actively recruit, as most of our members find out about us through word of mouth, we are always open to finding more people who share our passion for helping others and enjoy the love of riding motorcycles,” said Harr.
In addition to regular scheduled rides and social events, the group’s main goal is to help police officers and their family members and other veterans in need of assistance. They serve lunch to a HCSO district office every quarter and recently held a fundraiser to benefit a Sheriff’s deputy with cancer. Every year, the group holds its biggest fundraiser, a pig roast, in April and uses the finds raised to support local law enforcement and veteran charities.
The group’s next goal is to build a K9 memorial at the HCSO headquarters. Plans for the memorial are in the beginning stages, but Harr encourages anyone who is interested in donating, helping with labor or materials or becoming a corporate sponsor to contact him.