IUP doctoral student and professor Karl Roeper enjoys motorcycle riding, especially when it’s for a great cause.
Roeper has been active with the Fallen Marine Memorial Run, a charity motorcycle event, since it started in 2006. He assisted Joseph Wadlow and Gerald Vanasdale, two former marines, with their idea of honoring marines who were killed or disabled in action and helping their families by holding a motorcycle run to raise money.
Wadlow and Vanasdale came up with the idea after seeing a photo of two-year-old Tyler Miles wearing Marine dress blues and pointing at the flag-covered casket of his father, Marine Sergeant Sean H. Miles, who was killed in Iraq. The photo sparked the first run, but Wadlow and Vanasdale did not want to stop there. They have continued their efforts and have raised money for the families of Lance Corporal Patrick Kenny and Staff Sergeant Jimmy Arroyave, who also died in action while in the Middle East.
The fundraiser starts with motorcyclists registering for a fifty- to sixty-mile ride, making three or four stops along the way, in order to establish a scholarship fund for each child of the deceased. At the end of the ride there is a benefit concert.
Roeper designed the flyer advertisements for the first memorial run and has taken part in all three of the rides to date. He plans to continue with the fourth annual Fallen Marine Memorial Run on September 19.
(Content by Zachary Salopek)