THUNDER PRESS contributor George Aupperlee writes: “Each year for the past 10 years, motorcycle clubs have been coming to donate an Easter bunny or Easter-related stuffed toy for a child in the hospital. Each year we do this run on the Saturday before Easter [April 19 this year]. We have had clubs come from as far away as West Virginia and Erie, Pennsylvania. All the clubs meet at the Hummelstown Fire Department here in the Hershey, Pennsylvania, area. The riders have breakfast and then depart to deliver the stuffed animals to the hospitals in their home areas. I have been helping get the stuffed animals to Reading and Philadelphia area hospitals for the past three years. They want all the children who are in the hospital to have an Easter bunny when they wake up on Easter Sunday. It’s a great idea to help the kids have a Happy Easter. We check with the hospitals in our areas to see what their pediatric bed capacity is and try to get them a least one stuffed toy for each bed. We could use your help in getting North Jersey clubs to start holding this annual event. MSgt Timothy S. Greiner, PA Air National Guard, has volunteered to visit with any clubs outside of our area that would be interested in starting a ride. He will travel to their location for a brief of what, when, why and how we do it. His contact info is: or 717.861.1157.” How about it, North Jersey clubs? Who will step up?… On January 26, Tramontin Harley-Davidson of Hope, New Jersey, held a private screening of the film Why We Ride at the Bow Tie Mansfield Cinema in nearby Hackettstown. Nearly 200 showed up, pretty near filling up the small theater. Special guest speaker was featured film cast member Gloria Tramontin Struck, who, as usual, held the attention of the crowd with her charm, wit and remembrances of the 70 years she’s been on two wheels. Later we met at Panera Bread for an after-screening party where the dealership arranged for free coffee for all. And, our movie tickets can be traded in for anything in stock at the dealership, including new motorcycles! If you get a chance to see the film, it’ll be well worth your time… Harley-Davidson’s York, Pennsylvania, plant was named Best Plant of 2013 by Industry Week. Former York General Manager Ed Magee said, “We’re making more motorcycles in one building than we did in all of those old ones,” referring to the massive operations restructuring and consolidation of 41 buildings into two, with just one used for manufacturing. It’s a very cool way to celebrate the plant’s 40th anniversary year… A custom 2014 Indian Chief Vintage built in support of the Armed Services YMCA Operation Ride Home program to benefit U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families was auctioned by Barrett-Jackson on January 19. The bike was donated by Jack Daniel’s and Indian, and Klock Werks collaborated with Indian on the build. The customized Indian is making its rounds of International Motorcycle Shows across the country before it was shipped to Scottsdale, Arizona, for the auction. Congratulations to the winning bidders, George Munsterman and his wife Mary Brinckerhoff from Fishkill, New York… Due to the generosity of the Latin American Motorcyclists of America (LAMA), Pocono Chapter, 14-year-old Luke Hartrum of Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, will have a disabled-accessible place to live. Luke was hit by a car in 2007 and was given little chance to survive. His mom Lori Hartrum, an Army veteran who cares for her disabled son, says, “Luke died three times. He was in a coma, brain dead. Now he drives his own wheelchair and in the last year and a half starting speaking.” LAMA Pocono Veterans Committee Chairman John Schaffer contacted Home Depot and the company donated $5,000 in gift cards, then got Marine veteran Michael Potts’ construction company to donate his time in converting part of the home’s garage into a disabled-access bathroom and reconfigured Luke’s bedroom so he can get around more easily. LAMA funds a scholarship every year for Pocono area school children, and they are looking to help another family in 2014… Thanks to Stanley Oakes, PR officer for ABATE of PA, for sending me info about ABATE of PA’s 29th annual Leadership & Legislative Seminar held the weekend of January 24–25 at the Holiday Inn in Grantville, Pennsylvania. According to Stanley, the seminar has been an effective way for ABATE of PA to prepare its members and officers to properly represent the organization and update the members on current legislation affecting motorcyclists. Among other activities, a panel discussion was held with experts from PennDOT, the PA State Police, the PA legislature and the AMA. The focal point of the weekend was the Awards Banquet, which included the presentation of the prestigious Ed Fruecht Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Ed was a senior member of ABATE of PA’s board of directors who suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle collision in 1998 while on his way to Harrisburg to attend the annual Rights Rally. This year’s award was presented to David Surgenor, state coordinator of the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. Two of the seminar’s special guests, AMA President Maggie McNally and Mike Myers of ABATE of Illinois, were presented with five-pound Hershey bars from the “sweetest place on earth.” ABATE of PA will hold its annual Motorcyclists Rights Rally at the state Capitol on June 2.



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