As published in the October 2016 issue of The Legion Times
Mansfield American Legion Post 624            August 28, 2016

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In the finest tradition of the Fourth Pillar of the American Legion, Children and Youth, Riders from Department of Texas, District 12 engaged with a neighborhood in Ft. Worth on behalf of Hadley Cook, a four-year old terminally ill liver cancer patient.
On August 28, 2016 Sunshine Spaces, a non-profit organization, presented Hadley with a complete bedroom makeover in a theme of her choosing. Hadley’s dream of a “princess” room was made possible by donations from the neighborhood, local stores and volunteer labor, all coordinated by Sunshine Spaces.
Bill “Chief” Deal, District 12 Commander and a Legion Rider related, “We know that the kids get a big kick out of the motorcycles and meeting the Legion Riders, so that’s why we do this. To put a little happiness in a life filled with pain, doctors, test results and fear really motivates us.”
Erika Foster Jones, Director of Sunshine Spaces said, “We want to provide the recipient a room where they can be a child, not a patient. Many times these terminally-ill children spend tremendous amounts of time in their room due to their various illnesses and this is a way to make those hours more pleasant.” Mrs. Jones continued, “In order to make it truly special, we have a neighborhood parade for the child when we present the makeover. The American Legion Riders have come through on providing motorcycle escorts for our parades and we are truly grateful for their participation in these worthwhile events. As the motorcycles line up with motors revving, the child’s eyes become wide and happy knowing the Riders are there that day just for them. We can’t thank the American Legion Riders enough.”
Over twenty-five District 12 Riders from Posts 60, 81, 297, 379, 624, and 655 participated in the ride and parade. Local television stations covered the event with video that showed the Riders leading the parade through the neighborhood along with interviews with Hadley and her parents. “But what the kid’s don’t know is how much it means to the Riders to play a small part in the child’s life, to give back to the community and especially our youth.” Commander Deal said before he added, “It’s not unusual to see tears on the cheeks of our members.”


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