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Dream Ride experience raises $2 million for Special Olympics and Hometown Foundation

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FARMINGTON --  Dream Ride Experience organizers said they raised $2 million for charity this weekend.

The event started with 12 motorcycles riding locally to raise money for the Special Olympics. Now, it’s grown into an international event and has raised more than $7 million dollars over the years.

"We've got, probably 44 counties, nine different languages we're translating in and on four continents," says founder of the Dream Ride and Hometown Foundation, Michael Bozzuto.

All of the proceeds from the Dream Ride Experience go to the Special Olympics and the Hometown Foundation.

"The money it raises, but more than that," says Debbie Horne with the Special Olympics of Connecticut. "The support, the friendships that are made, the people that come out and you know, come back every year to see our athletes."

Bozzuto founded the Hometown Foundation in 2002 to support local community members.

"Well it basically represents the community," he says. We have the athletes, the special needs children, we have our emergency response personnel in all facets whether it’s EMTS, firemen, policemen. Then we have our military that we support and we have major illnesses and pet rescue. So, really, that’s your community and we feel that we bring the communities together, everyone gets together and it’s become a really family event."

The event continues through the weekend.

Sunday's line up includes live music all day, a 40 mile motorcycle rally, pet adoptions, and a basketball game with the Olympians and NBA stars Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince, who were seen joining in on the festivities Saturday afternoon at the Fishing tournament.

Dream Ride Australia's director tells Fox 61 that his kids would rather come to this event than anywhere else in the United States.

"With the confidence they get out of this program comes that they become their own individuals and it's just an amazing event," says Joe Romeo, the director of Dream Ride Australia.

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