Dice Run benefits memorial scholarship for Jason Johnston

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The first-ever memorial motorcyle ride to benefit a memorial scholarship for Jason Johnston took 63 bikers on a 124-mile trip today. Jason’s father, Brad Johnston, was among the riders on the dice run.

The ride started in Albion and went through four counties before concluding at the Elks Club on West State Street, where the Dirty White Boys played a rock concert, and bikers and other community members enjoyed food, and bid on raffle baskets.

There were about 50 items in the raffle at the Elks Club grounds.

The Albion Elks Riders took the lead in organizing the benefit for the Johnston scholarship.

Specialist Jason Johnston 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.

Many of Johnston’s medals and awards were on display during today’s benefit, which was expected to raise more than $1,000 for the scholarship fund.

“He was a local person who served in Afghanistan and died for our country,” said MIke Reigle, president of the Albion Elks Riders.

The group would like to make the ride an annual event on the third Saturday in August.

The American Legion gives out the $1,000 scholarship. Johnston’s family helps pick the winner, who writes an essay on the “Golden Rule,” of treating others as you want to be treated. Johnston’s family looks for a student who is pursuing a career in a service profession, such as nursing or law enforcement, his mother Jenny Johnston said.

Albion Elks Club members Bill Starken, left, and Marv Christ cooked hot dogs and hamburgers.