October 31, 2006
Motorcycle Benefit Ride to Honor Memory of DeKalb County Officer Dennis Stepnowski
Philanthropy Writers/Business Editors/Telecommunications Writers
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 31, 2006--In memory of DeKalb County police officer Dennis C. Stepnowski, all motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to participate in the True American Hero Benefit Motorcycle Ride hosted by Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) on Saturday, Nov. 18. A detective in the S.W.A.T. unit, the 12-year veteran was fatally wounded June 29 in an exchange of gunfire with a man wanted for murder in Louisiana.
All proceeds from the ride will be donated to the True American Hero Fund in memory of Officer Stepnowski and to honor all the first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty this year including Detective Dennis Stepnowski, Deputy Sheriff Joseph Tim Whitehead, Jr., Police Officer Peter Faatz and Corporal Michael Young. The Grand Marshal for the event will be John Walsh, host of America's Most Wanted. Walsh did a report on the incident and is planning another based on the True American Hero ride.
"Officer Stepnowski was a highly regarded policeman who had earned many commendations, including our department's highest award, The Medal Of Honor," said Chief Nicholas Marinelli of the DeKalb County Police Department. "But he was also a fun-loving man, and we believe the ride and the entertainment that follows will make it something he would have truly enjoyed. Our department is pleased and inspired by the support from Sprint Nextel and the community for this benefit."
Rain or shine, the day begins at 6 a.m. with registration (also available online at www.Sprintride.com) at Perimeter Mall, where the ride will start and finish. There will be a ceremony honoring Officer Stepnowski and all first responders at 8 a.m.
The 70-mile ride begins at 9 a.m. and will be escorted by units from the DeKalb, Cobb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Hall county police departments, as well as the Georgia State Patrol. The riders will cross Buford Dam before heading back to the mall. There will be an organized break for refreshments and restrooms -- but no stop for fuel. The riders are to return to Perimeter Mall by 12:30 p.m.
Drawings for 2007 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, High-Tech Phones and More
Advance registration, which ends at 5 p.m. the day before the ride, is $25 for a solo rider or $35 with a passenger. The fee goes up by $5 for both categories of registration the day of the event. The price includes lunch, the True American Hero Ride Commemorative T-Shirt and a giveaway packet. Lunch begins at noon and continues until 2 p.m. Entertainment will continue until 4 p.m. Those who don't ride can buy lunch for $10. Registration information is available at www.Sprintride.com.
As a special feature, DeKalb County Alliance will raffle off a 2007 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL. Tickets for the drawing are $25 each. Additional drawings will be held for Sprint Nextel handsets, NASCAR gear and other items. Proceeds will go to the benefit fund.
"We are tremendously gratified that so many businesses, organizations and people in the community have come together to support these heroic officers," said Joel Garner, regional vice president for Sprint Nextel. "If the weather cooperates, we think we could have as many as 1,000 riders, and we hope to raise upwards of $30,000. Based on the support already received, we plan to make the True American Hero Benefit Ride an annual event to honor these fallen heroes and their families."
In addition to hosting the event and the lunch, Sprint Nextel will provide the communication tools for the ride's safety captains. They will also use the company's Global Positioning Satellite technology to keep track of the ride in progress.
For advance registration and more details, the public can visit www.Sprintride.com, created especially for the event.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks covering nearly 282 million people and serving more than 51 million customers at the end of third quarter 2006; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
CONTACT: DeKalb County Kristie N. Swink, Public Information Officer 404-687-3719 cell: 404-862-1494 or Sprint Nextel Kristin Wallace, 404-649-1625 cell: 678-358-1190 SOURCE: Sprint Nextel