Recently, on Saturday, May 15, 2021, the Bronco Owners of North East States (BONES) held its seventh annual May It Forward event. The meetup, held at VFW in New Hampshire, has brought in Broncos from more than a dozen states in years past and raises donations that benefit veterans entirely.
Bronco Nation talked with @Tasker about this amazing event for owners –– and those who just want to stop by, view the Broncos, chat with good people, and donate to a worthy cause: the Travis Mills organization. Read on to hear his account.
May It Forward started eight years ago, missing last year due to Covid. The event began as a different get-together that was previously held in central MA called BYOB (Bring Your Own Bronco). Two of my friends had done that one for about eight years but just got burnt out doing it. It’s a lot of work to put an event on.
When we started, we just wanted a different type of event with the thought on giving back to one of our most under-appreciated population, injured military veterans. I would have to say BONES (my wife came up with that!) has been around for quite some time. It is a “club,” but no officers, no dues, no meetings. We are more like a family than a club. We try to get together a 3-4 times a year, but it doesn’t always work that way. There are a few parts of the group that see each other more frequently to socialize or due some team wrenching on a member’s truck.
The Travis Mills organization has a retreat in Rome, Maine that hosts post-Afghanistan veterans, at no cost, with various issues with adaptive family and outdoor activities as well as bonding with fellow veterans and their families. VERY inspiring place to visit! Why them as our chosen foundation? The first two years were for different military organizations, but after the fact of donations, we realized that the money flowed to the upper management and not down to the veterans that really needed it. Hence, we chose this as someone I knew was familiar with the organization, and we have never looked back! Even when we had to skip having the meetup in 2020 due to COVID restrictions, my friend Lou from LAL Customs had a virtual fundraiser. He raised a great sum of money for a donation anyway!
2021 was great! We had over 20 trucks on the warmup cruise the preceding Friday night, going about 45 miles with stops at the venue, so everyone was familiar as to its new location. The Cathedral of the Pines and lastly the Wachusett brewery Saturday did not disappoint. We had about 300 people and 65 Broncos in attendance from mild to wild and covering every body style. Even a 2020 full-size version based off a Super duty that my buddy TJ Ryan from Johnson Auto Body had built for SEMA a couple years prior! Saturday is a pretty loose schedule: Show up when you want, meet old friends, make new ones, and check out the baddest 4x4s ever made! New ideas are shared, stories are swapped, and we even had an R/c obstacle course that was made and brought by J.T. Delaney Construction!
Sasquatch did show up to take pictures with the crowd and generally chase kids around! Afterward, there was a free lunch and a raffle with five banquet tables of donated items from all over the country. There are many Bronco people near and far –– as well as nationwide businesses –– that feel our mission is important.
Some of the local club members planned to deliver the check to Travis Mills on Saturday, May 25. I am sure there will be a couple more wrenching parties throughout the rest of the year, and we will do at least a fall cruise together, usually through northern CT.
Find Bronco Events Near You
In closing, @Tasker encourages all in the Bronco Nation to make it to meetups, events, and clubs, and we agree. His parting words?
“Just to the people that ‘think’ about attending events … do it! You would be hard pressed to meet BETTER people!! MEB’s Bronco Round Up is coming up June 24-26th in Pine Grove PA. That’s NOT an event to miss!”
Find more events on the BN calendar, too!