Upon hearing the phrase “charity event,” I can guarantee that for many of us, the image of a group of heavily tattooed, leather jacket wearing, motorcycle riding men isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind. Yet just this past weekend, the Empire Harley-Davidson chapter hosted a Bike & Brew Fest in Tuckahoe as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. This group of Harley owners comes together a few times every year to organize rides and events to raise money for the benefit of local organizations. In the past, the Davidson chapter has donated funds to children’s organizations, hospitals, police and/or fire departments, and veterans, and this time around, they chose to help out Habitat for Humanity.
Road captains are selected to help organize an afternoon that promotes not only riding among Harley owners, but socializing, and having a good time as well, all for a good cause. Entering the bike show was open to virtually anyone, even non Harley owners. Those interested simply had to register their bikes for a small fee beforehand so as to have it displayed throughout the duration of the event and hopefully voted on by the event goers. The townspeople were even given the opportunity to pose and take pictures on a Harley bike, getting their own (stationary) thrilling taste of motorcycle riding. Event coordinator Randy Medina went around all afternoon distributing ballots to all in attendance, which would later be used to determine the winners of the bike show from third to first place.
When asked about the best thing about these events, without hesitation, Empire Harley representative Rigo Toro said that by far, it is the camaraderie among Harley owners. He recalls with a smile the many times that he has stopped on the side of the highway to polish his glasses, and almost instantly, he was joined by fellow Harley riders and was always offered assistance. He likens the bond between Harley owners to that of how policemen, firemen, and military men back each other up in times of need.
So there you have it, a pleasant surprise that is sure your heart. Don’t let their tough exterior fool you-- these Harley owners are just as willing as the next guy, if not even more willing, to help those in need. A huge thank you to the Tuckahoe Main Depot Center for hosting this event and providing our townspeople with a fun and beneficial afternoon!