(Aug. 15, 2018) Catherine Read sits down with the Honorable John Mason, former Mayor of the City of Fairfax and organizer of the Lord Fairfax Charity Ride, to be held September 22-25th. The charity ride will be organized by the Harley Davidson Owners Group (HOG) of Fairfax and will follow the original boundaries of the Northern Neck Proprietary, also known as the Lord Fairfax Land Grant. The ride is an extension of the 275th anniversary celebration of Fairfax County.
The concept of a motorcycle charity ride was a collaborative idea between Mason and Nicholas John Albert Fairfax, 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron. In addition to being a Scottish nobleman, peer, and member of Parliament, he is a motorcycle enthusiast. Mason became close with Lord and Lady Fairfax during the Fairfax County’s 250th celebration, when Mason served as Mayor of the City of Fairfax. After hosting them for the festivities, Mason and his wife were then invited to visit York, England. Their relationship deepened, through shared history and interests. When the 275th celebration of the county was being planned, Mason was tapped to reach out to Lord Fairfax to see how they would like to be involved.
Lord Fairfax suggested that the county organize a motorcycle charity ride, with a friends and family car rally, that traced the border of the original Lord Fairfax land grant. The event will cover over 5 million acres, and will stretch from the Northern Neck, follow the Rappahannock River and travel up to the Fairfax Stone, then back along the Potomac River and out to the Chesapeake Bay. The Lord and Lady have participated in a variety of other events such as this in Europe and Asia, and were enthusiastic about helping to plan a first-of-this-kind charity event in Fairfax County.
Participants can elect to participate in the one-day ride, or opt to camp out at various sites along with way, and participate in all 3 days of the event. The ride will raise money for four local charities that are making an impact in the Fairfax County community.
The Lamb Center and Bethlehem Baptist Church are two nonprofits that support homeless and food insecure individuals and families throughout the county. The Fairfax Mason Research Fund, part of George Mason University, is conducting cutting edge research being used to help solve some of the most intractable problems facing the world today. Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver provides funding for caretakers to purchase a wristband to help track vulnerable individuals, such as children on the autism spectrum or adults with dementia. This program is designed for families who cannot afford this service, and has a 100% success rate of finding lost family members.
The ride is designed to be accessible to all who would like to participate. The entrance fee is only $25, and is used to cover the cost of setting up and securing the route. Folks can register online or in person on the day of the event, and there is no cap on how many entrants can enroll. If people opt to join in the multi-day ride, participants are asked to secure their own lodging or camping arrangements. All information about the ride is located on the website, including links to the campgrounds.
Mason is excited to launch this event, and is looking forward to welcoming Lord and Lady Fairfax back to America, along with some of their special guests from abroad. Even if people cannot attend the ride, he encourages everyone to make a donation in honor of Fairfax County’s 275th anniversary, and to support the important local charities that are beneficiaries of the event. For more information and to register go to www.LordFairfaxRide.org