John Lancaster sells doo rags at bike rallies all season long.
Each stop along the way, including here in Erie at Roar on the Shore, he remembers Heather.
When they met, Heather was ten-years old and suffering from cancer.
Her wigs were itchy and hot in the summertime, so instead, she wore J and L Doo Rags.
“Through Heather and good people, this has been running for ten years and it’s still going good,” said John Lancaster, the J and L Doo Rags owner.
Around the corner, another organization spread a message of its own, too.
“For us it’s good to be able to get their word out there. A lot of people are really excited about people coming home from overseas, but they don’t understand some of the struggles that people have to deal with,” said Maritza Nieves, a Soldier Solutions representative.
Soldier Solutions representatives set up shop to raise awareness for combat-wounded veterans.
They said rallies like Roar on the Shore give them a platform to educate and create a bond between civilians and veterans.
While Lancaster traveled to Erie to remember, Nieves made the trip to honor.
Behind the music, food trucks and celebrations, there are stories like Heather’s and causes like Soldier Solutions that keep these vendors coming back every summer.