Legion holds annual ‘Youth Week’ Poker Run

The American Legion Post 2 Bristol held its Second Annual – Connecticut State Police / American Legion “Youth Week” Motorcycle Poker Run Sunday, May 21 down at the American Legion Post. About a dozen people rode in the poker run which stopped at four different American Legion Posts including Thomaston, Litchfield, Wolcott and Bristol.

Bristol Police, Wolcott Police, and Waterbury Police all supported the event this year. Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne participated in the event riding a 2017 Harley-Davidson, which he rented from Danbury Harley-Davidson. Wolcott Mayor Thomas Dunn and Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne presented proclamations to Wolcott Police Officer Frank Thielman.

Patrick M. Kilby, commander for the Sons of the American Legion Bristol, stated, according to a press release: “Wolcott Police Officer Frank Thielman stepped up and helped us organize this ride last year. His dedication to the community for his service toward the motorcycle community including raising awareness for youth programs is outstanding. We have dedicated this annual ride in his honor moving forward. He is a true inspiration for youth looking toward a career in law enforcement. He is retiring this summer and the law enforcement community will be losing a great police officer.”

Joe Neimchek, director for the Bristol American Legion Riders Post 2, stated in the press release, “Officer Thielman always is willing to step-up and help the community with an event. A lot of times without even being asked. He is a long-time friend to the motorcycle riding community.”

When riders finished they ate hotdogs and hamburgers cooked by American Legion Commander Rick Schreiner while DJ Adam played rock and roll hits.

Kilby stated, according to the press release, “We raised enough money to send one youth to the American Legion/Connecticut State Police ‘Youth Week’ this July. I truly thank everyone who supported this fundraiser. The local police departments including Bristol Police really step-up to assist.”

The “Youth Week” is geared toward 16 and 17 year old juniors who are interested in a career in law enforcement. Around 30 youths in Connecticut are selected into the program. They complete a one-week stay at the Connecticut State Police Academy in Meriden. The program had been held for 17 years before being cancelled last year due to budgetary concerns. The American Legion is raising money statewide to restore this program with the Connecticut State Police this year.

From the left, Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne, American Legion Post 2 SAL Commander Patrick M. Kilby, and American Legion Post 2 Riders Director Joe Neimcheck.