Trooper Bartram Memorial ride to raise funds for Christmas for Kids

Trooper Bartram Memorial ride to raise funds for Christmas for Kids in honor of fallen State Trooper Pat Bartram

Scene from the 2015 memorial ride.
Scene from the 2015 memorial ride.

The Trooper Bartram Memorial Foundation gave 137 children gifts to fulfill their Christmas wish list in 2015, with $150 spent per child. The Christmas for Kids program continues to grow, as does the need. The 2016 Trooper Bartram Poker Run Memorial Ride on July 9 will help fund that need.

“You’ll see all of these different (police) departments come together,” said Kimberly (Bartram) Van Jelgerhuis, who travels from Florida to help organize the memorial ride and Christmas for Kids. “They will do anything they can to make sure those kids have a good Christmas. That day standing there and watching these officers come out for these kids it makes me humble… People ask me all the time, why do you do this? If you ever go at Christmas and look at these kids’ faces, you don’t have to ask that question again.”

The ride begins at Southside Harley Davidson, 4930 Southport Crossing Pl., Indianapolis with registration 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. It ends at the American Legion Post in Fishers, 9091 E. 126th St. where dinner will be served with a State Police Troopers and Equipment Display, music, bike show, raffles, prizes, live and silent auction. The ride is open to motorcycles and antique cars. The ride costs $35 for a double rider and $20 for a single rider; police, firefighters and military receive a $5 discount.

“Everyone there wants to do good things, raise as much money as they can and they are a fun bunch to be around,” said Jane Vaughn, of Perry Township, who attended the dinner last year and will ride this year with her husband, Southport Police Chief Thomas Vaughn. “You can see that everyone wants to raise money for this because it’s such a good cause.”

The events, the ride and Christmas for Kids, are in memory of Indiana State Trooper Pat Bartram was killed in the line of duty in 1998. Trooper Bartram was actively involved in Shop With a Cop in Mooresville every year. A fifth degree black belt, he attended Mt. Gilead Church where he would volunteer to give free karate lessons.

“He would be horrified that this is in his name,” Van Jelgerhuis. “He was a very private person. People don’t realize that the officers aren’t officers for the glory. They do it because they love their job and care to serve and protect us. They believe in what they do. They don’t want the recognition. It’s again very humbling to have this program named after my brother and have the opportunity to give back.”

For more information about the memorial ride, visit bartrammemorial.com.