LOMPOC, Calif. - A tragedy inspires a Lompoc man to try something he's never done before: ride a motorcycle from coast to coast.
In his journey, he hopes to help young kids in our community and needs your help to accomplish it.
"John and I met 8 years ago in Maine," said Kenneth W. LeMoult of Lompoc. "Met through some other friends, met him and his wife. And became instant friends."
But just months ago, LeMoult went through an unthinkable tragedy.
"Something happened to his heart and he died in his backyard," LeMoult said.
John Dodge, an insurance company safety expert who had a passion for the outdoors, died November 18, 2013 from an undiagnosed cardiac condition. He was 46.
It left LeMoult without his best friend and in complete shock.
"You can't believe it when it happens," LeMoult said. "He's the guy that worked out 3 to 4 times a week. He's as fit as I am."
Prompting this U.S. Marine to do something he's never done before in John's memory.
LeMoult is going to touch the water in the Atlantic Ocean. Then he's going to pick up his bike in Daytona Beach and ride with friends across the country.
And there's more to it.
"He was a big contributor and very involved in mentoring children," LeMoult said.
LeMoult is asking the community to come together and help him raise $10,000 for our local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter.
"It's about $1500 dollars a match," said Lisa Brabo, the executive director of Family Service Agency. "And we have about 220 or 240 matches a year that we're supporting."
Changing the lives for the better for local kids who need it most.
"A Big Brother or Big Sister can really help the child with their academic performance," Brabo said. "Help them socially, meet people, learn how to interact with people. Really be more successful in their every day life."
"John and I talked about it regularly about the future of the country and that it was in our children," said LeMoult. "And one of the reasons why he mentored so many children. So I felt this would be an appropriate way to honor him and hopefully raise some money."
The ride starts April 5 in Daytona Beach and ends on April 12 in Santa Barbara with a welcome party that afternoon.
If you would like to help LeMoult reach his goal and support our local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency or be a part of his journey in any way, there is a page online where your donation will go straight to the mentoring program.