Hundreds Turn Out To Support Fallen State Troopers And Their Families
The annual Illinois State Police Lt. Rich Kozik Memorial Park Motorcycle and Fun Car Run on Saturday, July 15, attracted a couple hundred motorcycle riders and began with a brief memorial ceremony at the Illinois Tollway headquarters in Downers Grove.
“The Illinois Tollway appreciates the work of Illinois State Police to keep our roadways safe for customers,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse. “This annual ride serves to honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to others and we are proud to be part of it.”
The Illinois Tollway welcomes the event each year in support of its own Illinois State Police District, Troop 15, which patrols the Tollway system and serves the safety needs of Tollway customers.
Lieutenant Rich Kozik served the Illinois State Police for 19 years, including working in Troop 15. He combined his passion for motorcycles with his dedication to the Illinois State Police by coming up with the idea for a motorcycle run to raise funds for the Memorial Park, which began in 2008. The run was named in his honor after he passed away while on duty in 2018.
This year, the ride took a different route than the usual run to Springfield. Riders started at Tollway headquarters and met up with other groups in Morris and LaSalle before reaching their destination in Elburn for dinner, live music, raffles and a silent auction.
The annual fundraiser supports the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation Memorial Park, a 1.5-acre memorial tribute to fallen troopers that serves as a place of solace for their families, friends and colleagues. Located in Springfield, the park emphasizes the Illinois State Police core values of integrity, service and pride through inscriptions on various park features such as sculptures, statues and monuments.
Visit the ISP Heritage Foundation website to learn more about the Memorial Wall and ways to support the foundation.