By Linda McIntosh | North County Times | nctimes.com | October 16, 2012
Camp Pendleton Marine Lt. Col. Tres Smith was one of three injured servicemen who accompanied 65 cyclists on a 430-mile fundraising bike ride from Scottsdale, Arizona to Camp Pendleton that raised $300,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, which supports injured Marines and their families.
After riding four days through desserts and over mountains, the group of mostly civilian cyclists arrived on base Saturday, welcomed by Lt. Gen. John Toolan, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, his wife and Cpl. Ronnie Porta along with friends and family.
Cyclists rode more than 100 miles a day, each raising an average of $6,500 for the event, known as Ride 430 Challenge. The team also raised an $100,000, which will be split evenly between Knights of Heroes Foundation, which provides a summer camp for military children who lost their fathers in combat and the MARSOC Foundation, which supports wounded military and families of those fallen.
Smith and two other cyclists Sgt. Jorge Toledo and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jorge Ochoa, are members of the Semper Fi Fund's "Team Semper Fi," a rehabilitative sports program with more than 400 injured service men and women.
The ride has raised $1.2 million for the Semper Fi Fund since it started five years ago.
For more information, go to semperfifund.org/team-semper-fi