On Sunday, hundreds of motorcyclists, friends, family and volunteers again helped to ensure that Ronald A. Gill Jr.’s legacy will remain strong.
The 11th annual Ronnie’s Ride – a 100-mile, roundtrip motorcycle run – kicked off at Cranston High School West, where Gill attended high school.
The ride is just one of the events the PS3 Ronald A. Gill Jr. Memorial Scholarship Foundation holds each year. Since 2008, the foundation has awarded nearly $300,000 to local students to support their college education.
The Gill Foundation recognized several supporters this year, including both the Cranston and Bristol police departments, which have escorted the ride for 10 years. Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk and Twiggs Automotive were also honored for their 10 years of support, as was Glenn O’Gara, who has donated his time to help make each event a success.
Mayor Allan Fung brought greetings from the city, thanking all of those who participated in the ride.
“It’s another wonderful start to Ronnie’s Ride, and as you can see for Ron and his family, it doesn't get any easier,” he said. “I really appreciate seeing so many of your faces come back, not only today, but year after year in support of a wonderful family, a wonderful foundation, but most importantly, someone who has meant so much to all of us. We’re never going to forget Ronnie.”
The mayor also thanked the foundation for continuing to support local students.
The ride was escorted by multiple police departments from around the state, despite the fact that there was also a police 5K run taking place that same morning.
Cranston Police Officer Peter Leclerc noted that the ride is special to the department because of the fact that Ron Gill Jr.’s name is listed on the police memorial.
“Next week, a couple of us are actually riding our bicycles down to Washington, D.C., to the police memorial, so on Police Week we will be honoring Ronnie,” he said.
After a blessing and the traditional placing of symbolic beads on the flags that adorn the lead motorcycle and protect the riders – done by Ronnie’s mother, Rosemary, and his niece, A’driana – the ride kicked off.
The ride stopped at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter and continued on to Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett before returning to Cranston for a celebratory dinner at the Cranston Country Club.
The next event for the Gill Foundation will be the 13th annual golf tournament, which will be held at the Cranston Country Club on Saturday, July 20, beginning with registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m. followed by golf and dinner.
For more information, visit rongilljr.org/info.asp.