The 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment "Rough Riders," Inc. was formed for the purpose of creating and perpetuating a living memorial to the unique accomplishment of President Theodore Roosevelt and the members of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment known as the "Rough Riders".
The Rough Riders organization is a Service and Social club. It is the intent of the members of the organization to develop ways to celebrate this great moment in American History through educational activities, social service opportunities and festive events. The Rough Riders operate a speakers bureau and an active Historical Committee which seeks opportunities to inform and entertain the public about the achievements of the original Rough Riders and Theodore Roosevelt.Activities include maintenance of historical markers, restoration work on monuments and memorials to the Spanish American War.
The club participates in a wide variety of civic and service projects throughout the Tampa Bay area. These include Special Olympics, the March of Dimes, make a Wish Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Toys for Tots, Boy Scouts of America, Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the club has adopted Roosevelt Elementary as the recipient of time and monies for academic achievement awards. The Rough Riders visit area hospitals on a regular basis. During these "Teddy Bear Runs" the members bring cheer to sick and injured children. The kids are showered with attention that includes parade beads, Teddy Roosevelt coins and cuddly "Teddy Bears".
In addition to the more serious club endeavors, the members haven't forgotten how to have fun. The club currently participates in 14 separate parades throughout the United States and the Caribbean.These include Tampa's own Gasparilla Invasion, the Sant Yago Knight Parade, and the Rough Riders own St. Patrick's Day parade in Ybor City. Other cities that receive the special shower of Rough Rider souvenirs include Brandon, Temple Terrace, Bradenton, Clearwater, Key West, San Antonio, Texas and the Cayman Islands. When they are not parading, the Rough Riders may be found hosting a variety of parties throughout the year. These range from Black Tie affairs including a Debutante Ball and a Military Dress Ball, to very casual events such a Las Vegas Night or a block party in Ybor City. The Rough Riders are active supporters of the Inter Krewe Council and club officers visit other club's festivities throughout the year.
Today's Rough Riders represent a cross section of the Tampa population. Membership currently totals over 500 men and women. Where ever the Rough Riders uniform is seen including the tan slouch hat, the navy blue shirt, khaki pants and polka dot bandanna it means that Tampa's History is alive and is celebrated by people dedicated to community involvement.