MORRISONVILLE - Robert J. Light is on a mission.
The Morrisonville man and police officer for the State University of New York at Plattsburgh has begun to raise money for his participation in the Police Unity Tour, a bicycle ride from Florham Park, N.J., to Washington, D.C. next May.
Though the ride has been in existence since 1997, raising awareness and financial support for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, this will be Light's first time participating. Light said he heard about the ride last year and, being an avid cyclist, decided to learn more about it.
"I got interested and looked into it and was all for it," said Light.
Having participated in other charity rides, including nearly 10 rides to benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Light said he couldn't refuse.
"That's an awesome event," said Light. "The last time I did a ride, we had 400 cyclists and we all had the same jerseys on. It was awesome just to see all the rows of cyclists two by two for miles."
Light will join more than 1,000 fellow cyclists for the Police Unity Tour, scheduled to depart next year on Sunday, May 9. The more than 300-mile trip coincides with National Police Week, which honors members of law enforcement and ends with a candlelight vigil for fallen officers.
In the meantime, Light has begun collecting pledges and donations for him to participate in the ride. He is required to raise a minimum of $1,700, however, he has set his sights even higher.
"My goal is to raise $2,000, so I'll be asking a lot of family, friends and area police departments," said Light.
Light has already raised a quarter of the money with a $500 donation from the union he belongs to as a SUNY Plattsburgh police officer. That donation was critical, Light said, because he was also required as a new rider to raise $500 within 30 days of registering.
Those interested in learning more about Light's participation in the Police Unity Tour or in making a donation toward his cause may visit his Web site, www.firstgiving.com/robertlight, or reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.