Final thoughts on the 'Ride to Francis' By Dave Christi
Dave and Francis at
Rocky Mountain National Park, 1999
4,198.80. I'll always remember that number as it represents a significant time in my life that was focused on a significant individual - Francis David Sommer. I still think about various aspects of the trip - from the first lightning storm in the Pocono mountains to the serene ride through Iowa's farmlands - and I'll never forget Memorial Day 2013 as I laid Francis's wreath at his graveside. All these memories were augmented by my friendship of the Sommer family, which has endured over 45 years for which I've been honored to be part of. Francis is dearly missed but I also know that he misses your great family as well....
The Memorial Day “Ride to Francis” raised $4,198.80 for the
Kansas City VA Medical Center’s Voluntary Services Unit. These funds will be
used to assist homeless veterans in the Kansas City region. With administrative
overhead covered by the Veteran’s Administration, donors are assured that 100
percent of their funds will be used for goods and services to assist veterans
The “Ride to Francis” was the brainchild of Francis’s godfather Dave Christi,
who rode his Harley from New York to Leavenworth National Cemetery in support
of the KCVA. On a soggy Memorial Day morning, his journey culminated when he laid
a wreath at Francis’s grave.
Thanks to Dave, donations to the KCVA in Francis’s memory have reached nearly