Raven Hall Motorcycle Riding Club installs flags on bridge
POLSON — The Armed Forces Memorial Bridge recently had United States flags and flags from each branch of the military installed thanks to the efforts of the Raven Hall Motorcycle Riding Club (MRC).
The club was founded in a garage in May of 2016 with a few members, but it didn’t take long for the MRC to expand. “The club wanted to do something for the community, and when doing rides noticed there weren’t a lot of American flags being flown,” member Nate Ricciardi said. They decided to add a separate 501c3 nonprofit flag program to their roster, providing free U.S. flags to any home or business in Lake County.
Putting flags up along the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge was a natural undertaking for the club. “We really want to honor the American flag and the armed services. It’s a big part of what we do,” Ricciardi commented, mentioning that some of their members are also part of the armed services as well.
The project was a year in the making. The club teamed up with the City of Polson to get permission to install the flags, then had to wait over nine months for quotes on the banners and flags due to supply chain issues.
Once the flags finally arrived, however, the club was ready to go and quickly finalized with the city.
The Raven Hall MRC is now committed to raising $10,000 over the course of five years to continue to care for the bridge flags, which are required to be replaced every year. The club has already raised funds for this and the next two years and will take the flags down on the second week of October before replacing them each year the first weekend of May.
The club averages 100 flag installations per year, typically five flags per week during riding season, and even replaces non-serviceable flags and damaged poles. Their entire operation, after initial support by club president Edward Lee to get the program off the ground, is now funded entirely by donations from the community.
Those interested in making a donation or learning more about the club can reach out to Raven Hall on their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/FriendsofRavenHallMRC, or simply swing by the clubhouse, 710 First Street E in Polson, whenever there’s a motorcycle outside. Whether contributing financially or not, the club appreciates the support it receives from the community.
“We have lots of plans for the future,” Ricciardi stated. “We plan on helping this community out in a lot of different ways.”