21st Annual MDA Freedom Ride Scheduled For July 21 & 22

July 19, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Sauk City, WI. July 19, 2006— Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson and its Harley Owners Group invite motorcycle enthusiasts to join them as they rev their engines for a great cause on Saturday July 22 for the 21st Annual Freedom Ride to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southwestern Wisconsin.

Registration will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, July 21 at Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson in Sauk City. Those who did not collect pledges but will be riding can register from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the VFW Park in Prairie du Sac. Riders can also register on the day of the ride from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. with the ride leaving at noon sharp. Registration is $20 per person and prizes will be awarded to those collecting pledges of $75 or more. Riders who raise over $1000 have a chance at winning the grand prize, two tickets to any Midwest Airlines destination and $500 spending cash. Equally desirable are the first place prize of a $1000 shopping spree at Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson and a second place prize of a $500 shopping spree.

While the scenic motorcycle ride on Saturday, with a stop in Reedsburg, is the main attraction, those attending the event will be treated to a host of activities including a poker run, bike show, bike games, and a raffle. In addition, live music will be featured both nights with SCUTTLEBUTTIN taking the stage on Friday and Tuck Pence and Road Trip on Saturday evening. A $5 cover charge will apply to anyone not registered.

Earlier this year Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson and the Sauk Prairie Harley Owners Group were honored for their accomplishments in 2005 when the ride raised over $112,000 net for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This earned them the position as one of the top ten Harley-Davidson MDA fund-raising events in the country. Over the past 20 years the ride has raised over $1.15 million net to benefit the programs and services provided by Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Harley-Davidson began its partnership with MDA in 1980 with a program called Bikers Fight MD. That year at the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, Harley-Davidson representatives presented their first check to MDA for $185,000. Since 1980, Harley-Davidson’s family of dealers, customers, employees, suppliers and H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) chapters have raised more than $55 million for “Jerry’s kids.”

“The Harley-Davidson/MDA relationship is truly something special,” said Cathy Stagmer, MDA Regional Field Representative. “This ride continues to show what it means to be part of a family, coming out for those in need. The families we serve consider everyone at Harley-Davidson, its dealers, and the HOG Chapters to be a part of their family. They’re in the fight together.”

One such family served by the Muscular Dystrophy Association is the Keip family of Cambria, Wisconsin. This year marks the second year the Keips will attend the Freedom Ride as eleven year old Cody Keip celebrates his second year as MDA’s local goodwill ambassador for Southwestern Wisconsin. Cody, who enjoys World War II history, football and NASCAR, is living with Limb Girdle muscular dystrophy which affects muscles around the hips and shoulders. Cody attends MDA Summer Camp and looks forward to hearing the rumble of the engines at this year’s Freedom Ride.

Cody’s parents, Erica and Joe, share their thoughts on what the Freedom Ride and MDA mean to their family:

“Because of events such as the Freedom Ride, he (Cody) is able to attend MDA Summer Camp every year and be "just another kid." MDA is also able to provide the families with much needed assistance be it equipment or a resource. Also the research that MDA does gives us hope that in the future Cody can ride his own Harley.”

Joining Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson and its Harley Owners Group in the fight against neuromuscular disease are this year’s sponsors including: Acker Builders, Ballweg Chevrolet, Bank of Prairie du Sac, C&H Inc of Reesburg/Miller Beer, Countryside Lanes, Culver’s, ERA Country Land Realty, Fiskars Garden & Outdoor Living, Fuchs Trucking, H&K Construction, Johnson Construction, Midwest Airlines, Mike’s Disposal, TDS, UW Health, Wisconsin Distributors/Budweiser and Wollershiem Winery with media support from Shopper Stopper, WJJO and WKOW.

With the support of valued sponsors and individual riders the Muscular Dystrophy Association is able to continue its mission to defeat 43 neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive client and community services, and far-reaching professional and public health education. For more information about the 21st Annual Freedom Ride to Benefit MDA or to find out more about MDA’s local services, please call 608-222-3269.