PHILADELPHIA, PA., May 23—Motorcyclists and MDA supporters from across the Mid-Atlantic who participated in the 27th annual MDA Ride for Life raised a total of $1,093,433 to aid in the fight against muscle disease in support of local families served by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“For nearly three decades, Harley-Davidson and its dealers, riders, fans and H.O.G. chapters have been passionate about providing independence to kids and adults affected by muscle disease,” said Ride for Life Event Coordinator Tracy Hausknecht. “Ride for Life is a tradition that continues to exceed our expectations year after year, and we are grateful to all who support this important event that raises awareness and funds that will help MDA save and improve lives of the families we serve.”
Hundreds of motorcycles rumbled into Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, May 3-4 for the nation’s largest charity motorcycle ride hosted by the Eastern Harley-Davidson Dealers Association (EHDDA).
All motorcycle brands were welcome at the two-day event that kicked off at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. Participants enjoyed live music courtesy of several local bands that performed throughout the day, entertainment from the American Motordrome Stunt Show, as well as silent auctions, raffles, and food and beverage vendors. Day-one festivities were highlighted by an exclusive concert from rock icon and Poison frontman Bret Michaels.
Former MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Bryson Foster, age 13, made his second appearance at the legendary event to thank Ride for Life participants for the difference they’re making for families like his. Bryson also got the chance to test his inner rock star when Michaels invited him onstage to sing “Nothin’ but a Good Time” and help close the show for hundreds of excited fans.
Michaels, who was moved by MDA’s lifesaving work that helps kids like Bryson, took his support beyond the Ride for Life event to help MDA families even further the very next week in Los Angeles where he shot a special performance for the 2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon at the Hollywood Palladium. The Telethon airs on ABC stations nationwide on Sunday, August 31.
Ride for Life events continued through May 4, beginning with the parade of motorcycles that passed from the Penn State-Lehigh Valley Campus to the SteelStacks ArtsQuest Center where Ride for Life festivities resumed until closing ceremonies later that evening. This year’s top fundraisers were:
Top 3 Fund Raising Dealerships
1. Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson (Orwigsburg, Pa.) $239,214
2. Classic Harley-Davidson (Leesport, Pa.) $201,464
3. Brian’s Harley-Davidson (Langhorne, Pa.) $105,447
Top 2014 Fundraisers
1. Mike Dimov Susquehanna Valley Harley-Davidson $53,115
2. Denise Welsh White’s/Iron Valley Harley-Davidson $32,101
3. Robert Noll White’s /Iron Valley Harley-Davidson $28,304
Top Youth Fundraisers
1. Brandon Mueller Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson $3,252
2. Tabitha Klingler White’s / Iron Valley Harley-Davidson $1,606
3. Hunter Burk Classic Harley- Davidson $1,100
Ride for Life is the nation’s highest-netting Harley-Davidson fundraising event, and has raised more than $19 million since it began in 1988 with the goal of helping MDA save and improve the lives of children and adults affected by muscle disease.
The money raised from the event stays in the six-state area (southern New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and northern Virginia) where it will benefit MDA families by providing funds for life-saving research, clinical care and support services which include sending children served by MDA to a weeklong, barrier-free MDA summer camp.
For more information about Ride for Life XXVII, visit mdarideforlife.org.