Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers, along with Glendale Chamber of Commerce president Robert Heidt, Glendale Community College president Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz and other Glendale Community College staff were present at the June 25 $40,000 donation presentation to Glendale Community College’s Veteran Services Center for Veteran scholarships.
The biannual Mayor’s Big Dog Runs’ registration fees funded the donation. The event took place Saturday, Feb. 29, in partnership with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Military & Veterans Affairs Committee, and was attended by more than 1,500 motorcycle enthusiasts supporting those who have served in the United States military.
The ride began at Glendale’s Municipal Airport, 6801 N. Glen Harbor Blvd. From there, riders made their way to Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, and completed a lap around the track. After Phoenix Raceway, riders headed to Luke Air Force Base where riders were able to complete a lap up and back on a runway before heading to State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, to enjoy a lap inside. The motorcycle ride ended at Westgate with Shane’s Rib Shack, 9404 W. Westgate Blvd., providing a meal to every paid participant and event volunteers.
“When I started this event several years ago, I could have never imagined how big this event would get this year,” Mayor Weiers stated in a news release. “This event allows me to showcase the West Valley and highlight the amazing venues we have but most importantly give a scholarship donation to GCC and help those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country.”
The Military & Veterans Affairs Committee of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce provides recognition and assistance to the local military community, which is comprised of active duty personnel, reserve personnel, veterans and their respective spouses and families; helps members of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce conduct more business with Luke Air Force Base; and encourages businesses to hire veterans.
“The Chamber loves partnering with Mayor Jerry Weiers’ office for the Big Dog Run,” Mr. Heidt stated. “It is always such a fun day to enjoy Arizona’s sunshine and is an amazing event for community members to participate in. We were extremely impressed with the huge participant turnout this year and were honored to donate all the proceeds to Glendale Community College’s Veteran Services Center for student scholarship. We know they will put the funds to great use, giving back to our local service members.”
Supporters and sponsors of the event include the Glendale Chamber of Commerce: Military & Veterans Affairs Committee, Luke Air Force Base 56th Fighter Wing, State Farm Stadium, Phoenix Raceway, Sanderson Ford, Westgate Entertainment District, Swire Coca-Cola Glendale, Shane’s Rib Shack, Dutch Bros., Arizona Organix, Freddy’s and Glendale Community College Veteran Services Center.
The event’s success was also due in part to the efforts of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Glendale Police and Fire Departments, Tolleson Police and Fire Departments, Goodyear Police and Fire Departments and Avondale Police and Fire Departments who helped with traffic and United States flags displayed along the route.