Ride Therapy Project: Local business raises awareness

A Rapid City distillery and a group that helps veterans suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome or depression held an event to raise awareness of the organization on Saturday night.

Black Hills Contraband and the Ride Therapy Project gathered at Contraband’s facility in downtown Rapid City.

The Ride Therapy Project was begun by a Black Hills veteran and his wife after his return From Operation Iraqi Freedom. Its goal is to use the thrill of the open road to help veterans.

 "What we do as part of the ride therapy project, we take donated bikes or receive funds to buy low-cost bikes, and we rebuild those for veterans suffering from PTSD and depression”, said project P.R. coordinator Robert Brancato.

It’s a cause near and dear to Randy Decker, co-owner of Black Hills Contraband.

"Being a retired veteran myself, and also a motorcycle enthusiast, I’ve been friends with Darren,” said Decker. “I was also a member of the Ride Therapy Project for years. When we were looking for a local organization that we could assist with and do some volunteer work with, Ride Therapy was just a natural for us."

The project distributes donated or refurbished motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, and will modify them if a veteran has physical limitations.

If you’d like to contact the Ride Therapy Project, either to help or to request help, visit their website at www.ridetherapyproject.org.