Following the America's 9/11 Foundation's Memorial Ride in August, 2009 a group of firefighters from both the Floral Park and New Hyde Park Fire Departments knew that they had found a very collegial group of friends who enjoyed motorcycling together. They had begun gathering regularly to not only ride in local charity runs and parades but to just get out and enjoy the open road. Two of those charter members, Ken Fairben and Dave Fernandez, had also been actively engaged in participating in escorts with the Patriot Guard. It was those escorts honoring our fallen, wounded and returning veterans which provided some much needed clarity and direction to the group. One of the realities of riding in groups in the motorcycle community, especially on charity events and honor missions, is that organized groups can more easily stay together during those events and other groups respect those parameters.
It was under these realizations that the charter members of what would become Red Knights New York Chapter XLIII set out to find the organization that best fit their expectations ideologies and goals. The group knew about the Red Knights, having met many members on various rides, but it was Dave Fernandez who ultimately convinced the group that they should pursue a chapter in a Floral Park. After working with the International and meeting with the charter members on more than a few occasions, the formal application for a new Red Knights chapter was submitted and in August, 2010 the International officially granted Floral Park Chapter 43 in New York.
The initial Charter Members and the original officers, David Fernandez, President, Ken Fairben, Vice-President, Paul Gerner, Secretary, Vic Sowinski, Seargant-at-arms, Mike Sowinski, Treasurer, Sal Arrigo, Quartermaster and Scott Strong, Ride Captain had found an organization which would allow them the ability to be a welcoming environment for riding within an outstanding fraternal organization. It has been, and continues to be the philosophy of this chapter to adhere to the same ideologies as the International and has provided our members with an extremely well-organized and respected platform to not only ride, but to continue our charitable efforts under a more recognizable banner.
The chapter welcomes members who also embrace these beliefs and wish to be a part of an exceptional organization.