Event to benefit officer’s family

This year’s sheriff’s ride deeply personal

The annual Johnson County Sheriff’s Charity Ride has raised money for dozens of community organizations and agencies since it was started in 2006.

But this year’s ride also will benefit a cause deeply personal to the officers involved.

Organizers have decided to use the ride to support the family of Lt. Aaron Allan, the Southport Police Department officer who was killed in the line of duty July 27.

The sheriff’s office is collecting funds at their office through the end of the month and at the ride starting point Aug. 26. All of the money raised in those collections will go to Allan’s family, Sheriff Doug Cox said.

“We thought it was the right thing to do to help out that family,” he said.

The Sheriff’s Charity Ride is a yearly fundraiser that helps the sheriff’s office support people in need throughout the community. Past recipients include Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, the Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.

When children in the community have been diagnosed with cancer, organizers have given a portion of the money from the ride to them.

A committee helps put together the event, and afterwards, decides which causes to donate to, Cox said.

“We want to help out anybody in the community who might be struggling,” he said. “The committee sits down after the ride is over to decide which charities to assist. It depends what’s happening in the community at the time.”

But with the tragic killing of Allan in July, officers wanted to do something extra with the ride, as well, Cox said.

Allan, 38, had been called to an accident with an upside down vehicle in the Homecroft area at 2:30 p.m. July 27. As he came up to the vehicle, someone inside began firing shots, striking Allan at least once, according to a news release from Indianapolis police.

He was taken to Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, where he later died. Allan was survived by his wife, Stacy, and two young boys.

The death of a fellow officer struck everyone in the department, Cox said. In addition, an off-duty reserve Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped at the scene to help, and was present when Allan was shot.

Starting today, people can make donations at the sheriff’s office administration window Monday through Friday. Collections also will be taken from 8 to 10 a.m. at Walmart, 2125 N. Morton St., Franklin, the day of the event. Organizers have planned to have a container on site, away from the activity of the actual motorcycle ride.

People can drive up and park, give their donation and then easily exit, Cox said.

“Even if you don’t ride, we want to see the community turn out and help this family. People can come to Walmart, walk up and leave without any troubles,” he said.

The poker run will start at 10:30 a.m. at Walmart, with registration starting at 8 a.m. The first 300 people to register receive a free ride T-shirt. Run stops will include Mann’s Harley-Davidson in Edinburgh, Fletcher Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Franklin and Ray Skillman Ford in Greenwood.

The ride will end at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville with dinner, door and raffle prizes and the conclusion of the poker run.

“It’s nice being up there, seeing so many people enjoy the ride and come together to help other people,” Cox said.

The poker run prize is $400 to whichever rider holds the best hand. Door and raffle prizes include a private wine tasting party for up to 25 people at Mallow Run Winery, golf for four at Valle Vista Golf Club and an Indiana Grand gift basket.

Cost to participate is $40 per bike for a single rider, and $60 with a passenger.

If you go

Johnson County Sheriff’s Charity Ride

What: An annual motorcycle ride and poker run helping benefit charities and causes throughout the community.

When: Ride starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with registration beginning at 8 a.m.

Where: The starting point is Walmart, 2125 N. Morton St., Franklin.

Cost: $40 per bike for a single rider, and $60 with a passenger. Payment can be made by cash or check payable to Annual Johnson County Sheriff’s Charity Ride.

Aaron Allan benefit: In addition to the money raised for other community organizations, the sheriff’s office will also be collecting money to help the family of Lt. Aaron Allan of the Southport Police Department, who was shot in the line of duty on July 27. People can donate at the sheriff’s office administration window through the end of August, or donate from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the Franklin Walmart.

Details:

  • Poker run stops include Mann’s Harley-Davidson in Edinburgh, Fletcher Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Franklin and Ray Skillman Ford in Greenwood. The ride will end at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville with dinner, door and raffle prizes and the conclusion of the poker run.
  • The poker run prize is $400 to whichever rider holds the best hand. Must be 18 to enter any gaming event, including poker run and raffles.
  • The first 300 people to register receive a free ride T-shirt.

For more information, contact Tammy Hughes at 317-346-4757 or thughes@co.johnson.in.us or visit johnsoncountysheriff.com.

Author photo
Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at rtrares@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2727.