Memorial ride to honor local hero to be held Saturday

Corp. Jonathan Bowling

Registration for the annual Corp. Jonathan Bowling Memorial Motorcycle Ride begins at 9 a.m., on Saturday, April 28, at the Patrick County High School (215 Cougar Lane) in Stuart.

Registration is $15 per vehicle, and each entrant has a chance to win prizes.

The ride is open to bikes, cars and trucks. It begins at noon and will be held rain or shine.

It is to raise funds for the scholarship created in Bowling’s honor.

Bowling dedicated his life to serving others, as a law enforcement officer with the Martinsville Police Department, a local volunteer firefighter, an elder in his church, and a corporal in the United States Marines.

Bowling and three other Marines from a Lynchburg-based reserve unit died when their convoy was ambushed by insurgents in the Anwar province in Iraq in 2005. Bowling was 23.

The Chapter 11 Red Knights Motorcycle Club formed an annual bike ride to preserve his memory because Bowling also was an avid biker. Saturday’s event marks the 13th year of the ride.

“It’s done really well financially,” retired Master Trooper Darrell Bowling, Jonathan Bowling’s father said of the event. “The scholarship fund is on the way to being perpetual.”

When participants leave PCHS on Saturday, they will travel to U.S. 58 east, and then head toward U.S. 220 and through the City of Martinsville, according to Darrell Bowling.

Participants then will go to the Bassett Volunteer Fire Department for a short break, before continuing on Virginia 57 to Bowling’s gravesite on Goblintown Road.

All proceeds from the ride benefit the Corporal Jonathan W. Bowling Memorial Scholarship at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC). Scholarships are awarded annually to Patrick County High Schools who enroll at PHCC in a public service field.

Bowling said PHCC selects winners of the scholarships.

Tiffani Underwood, the interim director for PHCC’s Foundation, said “Every year, we are touched by the number of riders who come to honor the life and legacy of Corp. Jonathan Williams Bowling. Through the Bowling Memorial Scholarship, the memory of this true American hero can continue to inspire and empower students. PHCC is honored by this gift and honored to participate with the Bowling family to preserve Corp. Bowling’s memory.”

The event Saturday includes live music, food, and door prizes.

First, second and third place trophies also are awarded for the farthest traveled bike.

Donations and fees are tax deductible.

To learn more about the ride, the scholarship, or Bowling’s life visit


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