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Posts Tagged ‘Charity’

CCA-Joyride-14It only takes a little to give a lot.

Sure we hear the accusations all the time.  This charity spent less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.  Another charity spent more than half of their fund raising contributions on consulting and publicity.  Another charity paid the charity’s founder and their consulting firm millions.  The claims go on and on and unfortunately some are true.

However, there is one charity, the Children’s Cancer Association – Oregon, that is highly rated, especially in the areas of accountability and transparency metrics.  You can review the information for yourself HERE.  They are one of the good guys and can always use our help/support.

The CCA and Paradise Harley-Davidson are pulling together the 5th annual JoyRide for fundraising and this year it comes together on Saturday, June 21st.

It’s a unique opportunity to join local riders in support of CCA’s Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin program.  The JoyRide benefits a retreat home on the Oregon Coast, which provides families with seriously ill children and teens battling serious illness an extraordinary place to retreat, relax, and create once-in-a-lifetime memories.

Independent of what you ride, bikers of all kinds will gather together for a JoyRide in support of CCA.  The JoyRide will kick off at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. Participants will ride to the Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin in Pacific City, where there is a celebration of the rider support. The JoyRide is open to individuals or teams.  Registration information is HERE.

See you there!

Photo courtesy of CCA.

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CCA-Joyride13You open your mailbox one morning and there inside is a letter from a charity asking for your support. You read it and either toss the material or are inspired to donate, writing out a modest check and popping it in the mail. You feel good knowing that you sacrificed something to support a cause you think is important.

But the problem we’re confronting is so much material imploring us to listen it’s a challenge to separate the signal from the noise.  

“Noise” means… useless information.  “Signal” means… truth.

Once upon on a time information was scarce.  You had to hunt for it, nobody pointed a fire hose at your face, which is what logging onto the internet is like today.  It’s a tsunami of information and with your time limited where do you place your attention?  As consumers we’re inundated with noise.  To the point we ignore almost everything that’s incoming and we only pay attention to our trusted filters who are most often friends.

I only have time for incredible and so do you. 

ParadiseHD-Joyride13Which is why I’m raising awareness about the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA).  

How many charity rides do you participate in a year?  If you are like most motorcyclists you probably support a couple a year.  It’s not always about the ride; it’s about giving back to your community and helping the incredible non-profit organizations with their cause.

That’s what the 4th annual CCA Joyride is all about.  Paradise H-D is a key sponsor of the event to raise funds for The Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin™. The Caring Cabin provides children and teens facing cancer and terminal illnesses who are in treatment in Oregon, along with their families, an extraordinary place to retreat, relax and create once-in-a-lifetime memories.  The Caring Cabin is the only retreat home of its kind in the western U.S. and is on 24 wooded acres near Pacific City.

I hope you’ll consider joining the charity ride on Saturday, June 22nd.   A new route (HERE) is planned this year that winds through Portland and SW Washington, making stops along the way at some favorite locations. At kick-off, riders will receive a JoyRide Passport that will guide them to each location and where they will learn more about CCA along the way.  Each stop will feature beverages, giveaways, and opportunities to interact with CCA volunteers or families.  Riders who visit all of the stops will be entered into a drawing for a Grand Prize.  You can register HERE or if unable to attend the ride you can sponsor a rider HERE.

There will be an award’s ceremony at the Corner Saloon which is the final stop of the CCA Joyride.

Photo courtesy of Paradise H-D and CCA Joyride.

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About a week ago in Josephine county it was time for the 7th annual Grants Pass Toy Run.

In case you are unfamiliar with toy runs, they are about bikers of all persuasion getting together to help disadvantage children during a bad time in their life.  Or another way to say it is these are children who would have a minimal or no Christmas had it not been for the direct effort of a toy run event.  Most if not all of the toy runs are supported by ABATE members and ABATE of Oregon exists to promote the rights and interests of all motorcyclists, both patch holders and independents alike.

But, there is an unfortunate pattern developing in law enforcement in some parts of the country which was visible in Grants Pass, Oregon on October 3rd.

Officials stated that police and fire personnel would not to take part in a charity “toy run” because members of the Vagos MC were in attendance.  Specifically Deputy Chief Bill Landis told the Daily Courier that the city considers the Vagos MC to be a criminal organization and took what amounts to a “there goes the neighborhood a’tude.”

Motorcycle clubs are often prominent at charity events, such as toy runs.  The non-motorcycle riding public might conclude from the city’s police and fire personnel actions that any motorcyclist attending a toy run is possibly affiliated with a criminal enterprise.  It’s true that the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has weighed in on the topic complaining of the bad publicity for motorcycling in general caused by so-called “outlaw” clubs.  They’ve previously stated that the presence of these clubs at charity events has actually harmed the needy by driving down public participation and reducing donations. The shootout’s between rival motorcycle clubs in the midst of a charity toy drive have not helped.  In fact, they have influenced authorities in some states to attempt a ban on certain clubs from charity events, or to restrict the wearing of colors at those events.  This in turn prompted litigation in Pennsylvania on the unfair exclusions.

Before you get the wrong idea… does giving presents to boys and girls make up for bad things that some of the motorcycle club members do?  No.  But, neither should we consider ALL cops bad because some of them instead of catching criminals ARE criminals?

I’ve participated in a number of toy runs and find this maneuvering and attempt to cast a guilt by association on what otherwise would be acts of kindness for kids very disappointing.

Previous posts about the Vagos MC in Grants Pass are HERE and “Operation Everywhere” HERE.

Photo courtesy of ABATE.

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It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment it happened. Maybe it was the first time I saw that trucker crying in his beer while the Blues Brothers sang “Stand By Your Man,” but on occasion I like to run the dial through the XM country music channels and have a listen.

And I don’t think I’ve heard any song more than Dierks Bentley “Free and Easy Down The Road I Go” on country radio.  It bridges the old and new and takes you back to the country of yore, yet is still fresh with a sound that’s modern.  Listen to it HERE.  You might say that REAL country music became extinct somewhere around the early 80’s in favor of horrendously polished and confectionery, factory-churned “hits.”  To that I say you’re correct in large part and long live Jimmie, Merle, Johnny, Willie, Waylon, etc.

If you haven’t been to Nashville, you haven’t been to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  And you’re the worse for it.  You might think you don’t care about boot-kickers, and if so you’re missing out on the history of America.  From slaves to the Dust Bowl to the Elvis solid gold Cadillac and the history/tragedy of the Williams family. To see the old footage of people fiddlin’ and dancin’ and watching Jimmie Rodgers sing you become an instant believer and a fan.

My point?  To help evangelize that Dierks Bentley will host his Miles & Music for Kids celebrity motorcycle ride and concert series in Seattle on Sept. 18th. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital. The approximately 45-minute ride will depart from Destination Harley-Davidson of Tacoma and travel to the Puyallup Fair. Tickets go on sale March 27th.

Should be fun!

Photo courtesy of Dierks Bentley.

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movie_posterIt’s iconic.  “A man went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere.”

Forty years later Sony Pictures prepares to re-release (on October 13th) a newly digitized version of “Easy Rider” on Blu-ray disc and leverage movieIQ technology which allows fans to access relevant cast and crew trivia online.   At the same time, Kerr Leathers, a Salem, MA., company has an exclusive contract to produce replicas of the Captain America leather jacket which Fonda (Wyatt) wore. As one of only a couple American leather makers left,  Kerr also has the contract to produce other anniversary memorabilia, including Fonda’s vest and T-shirt, a CD of the movie songs, and commemorative posters.

The original leather jacket was designed and manufactured by Clarice Amberg of ABC Leathers in South Gate, California.  In 1971, ABC Leathers was bought out by Bates Manufacturing and later the company was renamed Bates Industries.  Currently its Bates Custom Leathers.  Bates is owned by two women, Dawn and Dana Grindle. At the time, ABC Leathers made two jackets and one set of pants for the movie.  The movie secured private financing of $440K and grossed over $19 million.  You can hear Fonda speak about the jacket HERE (.wmv file)

Kerr Leather "Captain America" Clothing

Kerr Leather "Captain America" Clothing

Millions of baby boomers who relate to the movie will undoubtedly line up to obtain one of only 3,000 Captain America jackets to be made.  All are signed by Fonda, and will retail for $459. In a brilliant coup d’état, all of the gear will be sold by Harley-Davidson dealers worldwide.  In addition, each of the dealers will receive a Fonda autographed American flag on one jacket, which will be raffled off for the dealer’s favorite charity.

And speaking of the American flag — the original, one-and-only American flag patch worn on the back of Wyatt’s motorcycle jacket, was sold in 2007 for more than $89,000 by Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, TX.  The flag was featured prominently throughout the movie.  Fonda kept the jacket after production wrapped, and wore it until the jacket wore out. He then saved the patch, framed it, and then decided to make some of the memorabilia available to fans.  Ironically, for a film so fervently anti-establishment, the Department of Defense pin that adorned the jacket was valued at over $15,000. 

The launch of the re-released movie on Blu-ray is set to coincide with the 26th annual Love Ride during California Bike Week (October 23 – 25).  As the population ages it’s common these days to see commemorative clothing and products hit the market.  Nostalgia sells.  The last time Kerr Leathers first produced an “Easy Rider” commemorative jacket was for the film’s 25th anniversary in 1994.

Photos courtesy of Kerr web site.

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Willie G. Celeb Chair

Willie G. Celeb Chair

It’s that time of year where charities try to rise above the steady drum beat of donation noise. 

It got me thinking about Harley-Davidson and MDA’s challenge to garner more rider attention and the ever important donations.  Then wham, this idea came to me…!

For the first time ever, what if you could spend a day or weekend with Willie G. and his friends in some unique place? Let’s call it the Willie G. Experience and it’s your exclusive opportunity to have a personal experience with your friends and the world’s most famous motorcycle figure to benefit MDA as you live it.  Willie G. is a veritable legend, with more cred than most music stars.  He doesn’t need the money, which is why he’s diligent in donating it to charity.

Below I’ve developed some package/donation choices for Willie G. to consider:

Willie G.

Willie G.

Phone Call Package – $2000.00 Donation to MDA:   One signed complete Sportster fuel tank and a phone call from Willie G.  Ask him anything. Tell him a story. Or just chit chat about your day… it’s up to you. Willie G. can also change your outgoing message on your voicemail.  Limit of 10 packages.

Lunch and Demo Package – $10,000.00 Donation to MDA:  You and 3 other people are invited to lunch and a demo ride session at H-D world headquarters, complete with a tour of the facilities. This will take place on a mutually agreeable date. This package also includes two complete Sportster fuel tanks. Your group will join up to 12 other individuals for this experience.  Each member of the group will receive a hand drawn motorcycle on a scrap piece of paper from the marketing design center where Willie G. works.

Happiest VIP On Earth Package – $25,000.00 Donation to MDA:  You and Willie G. spend the day at Disneyland with a VIP escort, meaning that you breeze to the front of every line. You will not believe how many rides you can hit in one day, and won’t have to wait for a table wherever you choose to eat. You can even have a “themed” H-D party if you want to do it up big. And you can try to beat Willie G. at Toy Story Mania. If you don’t succeed, we’ll just get right back on it. We’ll finish the day with dinner at Disney’s Club 33. This package also includes a signed complete Tri-Glide model fuel tank.

LA Harley Xperience Package  – $35,000.00 Donation to MDA:   I’ll pick you up at LAX on my 150hp Tri-Glide and we will visit cliché tourist spots (Hollywood sign, Sunset Blvd, Venice Beach, etc.) on our way to the motorcycle drag races. You will then have VIP passes to see any and all drag events or just sit in the press booth with me and a Peter Fonda look-a-like while I commentate the competition. Dinner is included at Sushi Nozawa, Matsuhisa or try some blowfish at The Hump… or we can get the true LA Paparazzi experience at Koi. This package also includes two replica signed “Captain America” fuel tanks.

VegasVegas, Baby, Vegas Package – $45,000.00 Donation to MDA:  We’ll fly from Milwaukee, WI — via private jet (yes, a private jet) to Vegas two nights before the MDA charity ride. Dinner at Simon (prepared by Kerry Simon himself), ride the NYNY rollercoaster (not necessarily in that order), play blackjack at a private table or we can hit Gameworks and play every arcade game known to man. Suite at Wynn included for three nights, then VIP passes to a mystery dinner event on Saturday.  Then we’ll return by private jet to Milwaukee on Sunday. This package also includes a H-D leather vest with H.O.G. logo and one signed complete Sportster model fuel tank.

Willie G. Bike

Willie G. Bike

Milwaukee Family Day Package – $75,000.00 Donation to MDA:  You’ll come to my house and I will make cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then swimming in the backyard with me, Nancy and the grand-kids. From there we will hit Miller Brewing and my boys can show you all the coolest stuff in the “park.” Lunch at nearby Famous Dave’s, then come back to my place and play Xbox 360 games or guitar, then dinner at Maders. Taking the dogs out for a walk throughout the day is optional. We can also take the ’64 Panhead out for a cruise if I can get it started. This package also includes 3 signed complete Sportster model fuel tanks.

To make it easy people could pay for the Willie G. experience via a cashier’s check, wire transfer, credit card or PayPal.  And, your payment (after expenses) will constitute a donation to MDA and you’ll receive a letter acknowledging the portion of your payment that constitutes a contribution. 

Crazy idea?  Sure.  But what if there is a motorcycle enthusiast who loves ALL access to celeb’s and will think this is the ultimate fantasy?  Schmoozing with the famous…. like one night with your favorite rock star!  What’s that worth?  And with a donation tie in to the MDA charity, priceless?!  

Photos courtesy of H-D and ACM Awards.

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Jean Davidson

Jean Davidson

In today’s school environment where you’ll find a swim coach who sees children as “eye candy”… accused then acquitted of committing sexual abuse (.pdf) there comes along the real deal Jean Davidson

She is the granddaughter of Walter Davidson, one of the four founders and the first president of Harley-Davidson.  Her father, Gordon Davidson, was Vice President of Manufacturing.  Jean elected not to work at the family company, but instead dedicate her life to teaching children.  She has developed educational curriculum for all levels of teaching at both the state and local levels.

Tragedy hit the Davidson’s when Jean’s 4 year old grandson, Ryder, died in an accident that could have been prevented.  If only the child standing nearby Ryder would have known how to react or what to do.  Because of this and learning of many similar family losses, Jean developed a program called Yell and Tell.”  The program teaches young children who observe a dangerous situation how to react in a proactive way.

Yell_n_TellBesides the educational curriculums that Jean has developed, she has written four books about the personal stories of her growing up and the family stories of the HD Motor Company.  She travels extensively being a speaker at colleges, Harley-Davidson events, and educational forums.  She is a staunch supporter of charity events related to autism and can often be found riding a motorcycle to help raise money for the cause.  Recently she appeared at an event hosted by the Eureka Springs Motorcycle Club.  Jean is the mother of five children and has seven grandchildren. She has spent a number of years gathering personal family stories and old photographs to bring motorcycle enthusiasts a rare look into one of the more famous families in motorcycling history. Her books can be order HERE (.pdf).

If you want to bring the Yell and Tell program to your community more information is available on the web site.

Photo courtesy Yell and Tell and Chip Ford.

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