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Riki's Ride means a lot to these two veterans and coffee shop owners

Riki's Ride stopping at Ice Dreams Ice Cream and Coffee Shop

If there's anyone who knows about the importance of Stop Soldier Suicide, it's Keith Walls and Max Lopez-Gonzalez. 

Keith and Max both served in the United States Marine Corps for more than 10 years each. Now, they own Ice Dreams Ice Cream and Coffee shop in Fort Mitchell, Alabama, which sells Death Wish Coffee

Fort Mitchell is an 8,300-person town with a deep military history, and is surrounded by military bases including Fort Benning. Most of its population is serving, has served, or has family members in the United States military. It's also home to a National Veterans Cemetery.

That's why Stop Soldier Suicide is an important cause to Keith, Max, and their town — with 22 veterans dying by suicide every day, it really hits home.

"This is a military community. We all stick together," Keith said. "There's something about soldier suicide that really resonates with everyone, even those who are not in the military. Everybody wants to help out in that — that's what's so great about this community."

Ice Dreams Ice Cream and Coffee shop is hosting a silent auction for this mug. All proceeds of the auction will go to Stop Soldier Suicide.

So when Riki's Ride asked to stop at Ice Dreams Ice Cream and Coffee Shop during his 18,000-mile trek, Keith and Max knew it was a must. 

On the afternoon of August 23, Ice Dreams Ice Cream will host Riki Rachtman, Lea Vendetta, and Riki's Ride to raise money for Stop Soldier Suicide. Riki and Lea are traveling the United States on a motorcycle to raise money for this veteran organization. The organization provides mental health counseling, housing assistance, emergency financial aid, alternative therapies, and more. 

“This is a real personal cause and close to our hearts," Keith said. "We’ve had plenty of friends and brothers  from the marine corp that have committed suicide. When I was in the Marine Corps., I was a suicide prevention instructor. I’ve had my share, and I know Max has as well, with talking to our friends and brothers in the Marine Corps. who have been suicidal and kind of brought them back from that.”

The event, which begins at 2 p.m., will include local food vendors and a concert from local bands. Keith and Max are hoping to bring their community together to raise money for the cause — and, of course, to enjoy some coffee in the process. 

“Most of us are veterans and most know people personally that have been affected by the demons from their past and PTSD whether it be ending with suicide or attempted suicide," Max said. "It’s something that hits home for all of us because it doesn’t just affect the person, but it effects everyone around them — including their military family. If there's something we can do to prevent even just one person from harming themselves, then we’re going to take the opportunity to do that.”

FULL EVENT DETAILS: 

  • What: Riki's Ride stopping at Ice Dreams Ice Cream and Coffee Shop
  • Where: 808 Hwy 165, Fort Mitchell, Alabama, 36856
  • When: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • More information: Come support Stop Soldier Suicide and drink Death Wish Coffee, take pictures, and get autographs from Riki and Lea. Listen to local bands Sleazy Mona and Damn Skippy
  • You can RSVP to the event on their Facebook page here

And a special shoutout to Keith and Max — from all of us here at Death Wish Coffee Company, thank you both for your service.

Related: Riki Rachtman is traveling around the country to raise money for veterans

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