Honor those who served

Since 2017, the Gold Star 500, an annual endurance cycling event, has honored the service and sacrifice of servicemen and women from Illinois who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gold Star Mission hosts the event to preserve the memory of those fallen heroes.

On Sept. 19, a team of primarily veteran and service member bicyclists will begin a 500-mile journey through central and southern Illinois. The five-day event will take them through many of the communities where those fallen heroes lived and served.

On day one, riders will begin their journey in Springfield and travel to Jacksonville, Carlinville and Litchfield. Day two, they will ride to Scott Air Force Base, Freeburg, Red Bud and Sparta. Day three, their journey continues through Steelville, Chester, Carbondale and Harrisburg. Day four includes Fairfield and Effingham. The journey ends on Sept. 23 in Shelbyville, Taylorville and finally back to Springfield.

Gold Star Mission raises funds for scholarships that are named in honor of those servicemen and women, thus preserving their names forever.

Community members are invited to cheer on the riders during their journey. Learn more at goldstarmission.org.

Gold Star Mission