Bikers use 90-mile ride, raffle to benefit Jason Johnston scholarship fund
Event honors memory of Albion soldier killed in Afghanistan
ALBION – The fourth annual Jason Johnston Dice Run on Saturday raised more money for a scholarship given annually by the Albion Elks Riders.
There were 47 riders on dice run, which went 90 miles through Orleans County and outside Orleans to Bergen, Pavilion, Attica and Batavia. Each biker paid $20 to be in the event, with passengers paying $10. (There were 31 passengers on the ride.)
Following the ride, there was food, beer and a raffle at the Albion Elks Lodge, aswell as music by DJ Ken Draper and then a concert by The Who Dats.
Proceeds go towards a scholarship in memory of Specialist Jason Johnston, who was 24 when he was killed in Afghanistan in the War on Terror on Dec. 26, 2009. Johnston was on his second deployment. He was also a paratrooper.
He completed a 13-month-deployment in 2008 and left again for the war-torn country in October 2009. He was killed by a roadside bomb the day after Christmas.
“We have a great community that doesn’t mind helping someone who gave his all for them,” said Brad Johnston, Jason’s father. “That’s what Jason was all about, helping people.”
The Elks the past four years have given $1,000 scholarships to a graduating senior pursuing a helping profession. Riley Seielstad was awarded the scholarship this past June.
Brad Johnston said the family appreciates the efforts from the Elks to establish the scholarship. The organization has enough funds to keep it going for at least 12 more years.
Johnston joined the Elks Riders two years ago. The American Legion also gives a scholarship in memory of Jason Johnston for a graduate headed to the military. The Legion is planning a fundraiser to keep that scholarship going.
“I don’t want him forgotten, and the scholarships also help students and soldiers,” Johnston said on Saturday at the Elks Lodge.