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Harley Davidson to put on slew of rides this summer

Rides set to benefit veterans, youth, women

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BIKER COMMUNITY — Bikers gather at Harley Davidson of Kokomo last September for the annual Combat Vets Ride. The ride returns this year on Saturday, Sept. 18, to benefit Jackson Street Commons.

Harley Davidson of Kokomo has a full lineup of rides slated for this summer that will benefit veterans, youth, and women.

Several of the rides are brand-new. Some have been going on for years, but they’re all for a good cause. Taylor White, office manager/marketing coordinator of Harley Davidson of Kokomo, said the motorcycle retailer enjoys being involved in the community and helping raise funds for local charities.

“As a biker community, everyone is pretty big into doing charity rides. They could ride for free. They don’t have to pay to go for a ride, but they choose to. For the rides, there’s usually an entry fee for the biker to participate, and we’ve had some rides bring in $10,000-plus. It can be a really big money maker for the charities,” said White. “Harley Davidson as a whole is big into charity and helping others, and Harley Davidson of Kokomo is the same way.”

The rides kick off on Saturday, May 29, with the Memorial Ride and blessing of the bikes. This ride started last year and took participants through several area cemeteries that have high rates of veterans buried there.

The ride is back this year, and White said, while the route still is being finalized, she’d like to take riders through different cemeteries this year. The ride is free.

The next ride, Ride to Rebuild, takes place on Saturday, June 26, and will raise money for the domestic violence shelter in Kokomo. Harley Davidson of Kokomo is partnering with organizer Amber Kinsey on the ride.

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“Harley Davidson likes to do charities for a broad range of things. So we do a lot of military. We do a lot of kids. So when [Kinsey] reached out to do something for the domestic shelter, we had never done anything, so I wanted to jump on board with her,” she said.

After the ride, Branded Bluegrass will perform.

Following, Toys for Tots Ride will take place Saturday, July 17, and participants are asked to bring unopened toys to donate to Toys for Tots in place of a ride fee. Harley Davidson of Kokomo traditionally puts on this ride in October, but cold weather kept participation lower. This year, it will be moved to the middle of summer with a “Christmas in July” theme.

White hopes to have Santa on site and carnival games for kids. Harley Davidson of Kokomo is partnering with Guardians of the Children for this ride.

The next ride, Cruise for Shoes, will take place Saturday, Aug. 7, in partnership with Life Gate Church out of Logansport. The ride will raise funds to purchase new shoes for children going back to school. This ride also is new.

Next up will be Ride of Hope in partnership with Tyler’s Triumphs on Saturday, Sept. 11. The ride will raise awareness of addiction and funds for Tyler’s Triumphs and Turning Point Systems of Care.

The rides wrap up the next weekend on Saturday, Sept. 18, with Combat Vets Ride, which will benefit Jackson Street Commons. Harley Davidson of Kokomo has been putting on this ride for several years to help area veterans.