Always looking to do more for local veterans, Dr. Cliff Moore, of Moore Dental in Lewis Center, has partnered with several businesses to organize the first “Lewis Center Honor Ride.” Taking place on Sunday, April 7, the event will bring 20 veterans and 20 guests to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM), located at 300 W. Broad St. in Columbus, free of charge.
Veterans and their guests will be treated to a sandwich and salad buffet at Panera Bread, courtesy of the restaurant, prior to departure for Columbus. Following the meal, The Ride, a local transportation business owned by veterans, along with Stoner Periodontics, will transport veterans and guests to NVMM.
Admission to NVMM is free for veterans, and Moore will cover the admission for each veteran’s guest.
To help facilitate the event, Moore has organized a team of local veterans that will help with the check-in process at Panera Bread, cleaning up after lunch, and escorting the veterans around NVMM.
Upon return from Columbus, veterans will be treated to pastries and coffee, again courtesy of Panera Bread.
Moore said he has contacted local high schools about providing a small group from the marching band, ROTC and Honor Guard to play the “National Anthem” and present the colors before the group disembarks.
The event, Moore said, is largely modeled around the Honor Flight program that transports veterans from all around the country to Washington, D.C. to see their memorials.
Moore, a veteran himself who served in the U.S. Navy as a dental officer, held a veterans appreciation day at his clinic in November, in honor of Veterans Day, where veterans received free dental services. Moore said his first trip to NVMM this past fall sparked the idea of creating a second event for veterans in the earlier part of the year.
NVMM began as an idea by beloved Ohioan and American hero John Glenn before he passed away in 2016. NVMM officially opened its doors in October of last year with a ceremony that included retired Gen. Colin Powell as the keynote speaker. Moore hopes the April event will allow veterans who might not otherwise have the means to get to NVMM to have the opportunity to see the memorial.
Moore added he hopes his events will set an example for other businesses within the community.
“I hope organizing events like this can inspire other local businesses to give back to our community, whether that be to veterans or in their own way,” he said.
Anyone veteran interested in signing up for the event can do so either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 740-919-9238.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.