Hundreds ride for Ronnie in Cranston Sunday

9th Annual "Ronnie's Ride", April 23, 2017

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Motorcyclists from around the state road together Sunday during the 9th annual PS3 Ronald A. Gill Jr. Motorcycle Run.

The group began their 100-mile “Ronnie’s Ride” at Cranston High School West.

“They had over 200 people sign up before today, and ended up inching up close to 300 people,” said Cranston Mayor Alan Fung of Sunday’s turnout.

Led by police escort, the ride took the group to the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery in Exeter, to Scarborough Beach in Narragansett, and back to Cranston for a dinner at Cranston Country Club.

The day is in memory of Ronald Gill Jr., who was killed in the line of duty on March 25, 2007, while serving as a member of the Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team in Anchorage, Alaska.

Gill’s father, widow and daughter were on hand Sunday, as they are every year, to keep his memory alive. Ambur Gill says of all of the events in her late husband’s name, the motorcycle ride has a special meaning to her.

“It’s something about just being on the back of the bike. It’s so peaceful,” Ambur told Eyewitness News. “So it’s a really good time for me to reflect. And, it’s just always been my favorite.”

“It’s especially important for Gracie, that she knows a little bit more about her dad,” Ronald Gill Sr., said of his granddaughter. “She gets to learn about him.  He’s not just that stone at Rhode Island Veteran’s Cemetery.”

Gill’s family have also established a scholarship foundation in his name. The annual motorcycle ride is one way the foundation is able to raise money for the scholarship fund.

This year, the foundation surpassed a milestone by raising and donating more than $225,000 towards scholarships since its inception in March of 2008.