For the second year in a row, one local business is doing everything it can to give back to post 9/11 families.
Last year Wildcat Harley-Davidson teamed with Kentucky non-profit USA Cares for the first time in what they hoped would be an annual fundraiser. This year their hopes came true.
USA Cares is non-profit based out of Radcliff, Ky. that helps post 9/11 families with virtually anything they need. That includes injuries sustained in combat, mental issues brought back home, help with career transition, and even help paying the mortgage if a veteran or family couldn’t make it for that month.
Their website states they “exist to help bear the burdens of service by providing post 9/11 military families with financial and advocacy support in their time of need.”
And even though this is the second year of the fundraiser, event coordinator for Wildcat Harley-Davidson Chris Minton said they are going to be doing things quite a bit differently from last year.
This year, Wildcat is holding a raffle contest for a brand new Harley, as well as a cannonball run-style motorcycle ride. Raffle tickets will be $50 each, and are being sold currently at the dealership and through USA Cares.
The purchase of a raffle ticket will also be your VIP pass to a private party thrown by Wildcat Harley-Davidson on September 9 at the London location and will feature free food, drinks, and live music. At this party they will also pull the raffle tickets and announce the winner of the bike.
“Veterans do so much for us, they lay down their lives,” Minton said. “This is just an opportunity for us to show our support and give back to them in a fun way.”
Minton also said that 9/11 is very close to their hearts. On the day the planes hit the Twin Towers, Wildcat’s general Manager Shane Richmond was supposed to be touring them that day, but overslept. It has since been his mission to give back to the families affected as much as he could.
Wildcat Harley-Davison were picky when looking for an organization to partner with, but when they found USA Cares they knew they were the right choice.
“The great thing with USA Cares is that for every dollar they make, 85 cents goes directly to the families that need it, which is almost unheard of in charities nowadays,” Minton said. “They’re really open with their finances and we know when we donate to them, we donate to the families.”
The cannonball run will take place the morning of Sept. 9, and will cost riders $25 to enter. Participants will receive a map with 75 checkpoints in a 65-mile radius, each worth a different point value.
The riders will have seven hours to get as many points as they can, and the rider with the most points at the end of the ride will receive a monetary prize.
All the proceeds for the event will be going to USA Cares, and Minton said they have already sold about half of the 725 raffle tickets. He would love to see over 1,000 people at the event. He would also like to see more and more support build for this event and fundraiser in the years to come.
“My goal for this event in the future is to be so big we can’t hold it at the store (Wildcat) anymore,” said Minton.