A pair of philanthropists will be taking center stage for the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum's annual Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies as John Paul DeJoria will not only serve as emcee, but welcome his long-time riding buddy and Peace*Love*Happiness Ride co-founder Gary Spellman to the Class of 2016. The 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast will be held August 10, 2016 at the Lodge at Deadwood in Deadwood, South Dakota.
"John Paul DeJoria is not only a brother motorcyclist to the core, he is a true inspiration to all of us," says Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame executive director Myrick Robbins. "We are honored to have him as this year's emcee, but don't forget he is already a member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum's extended family." DeJoria was inducted into the SMM Hall of Fame back in 2004.
The founder of John Paul Mitchell Hair Systems, DeJoria is one of those fabled American rags-to-riches stories. After having been homeless, he clawed his way up from the gutter to become a captain of industry and philanthropy as well as an ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Project. "However the most important part of his story is how his long association with motorcycling and the code of brotherhood and helping others that he learned through motorcycling made this transformation possible," adds Robbins. "His biker background led him to use his success and his extraordinary power to inspire others to benefit not only the motorcycle community but the world at large."
A love of motorcycling and a chance meeting with fellow Hall of Famer John Paul DeJoria 30 years ago resulted in the founding of the Peace*Love*Happiness charity ride in Austin, Texas, back in 2003. Since then, Gary Spellman has brought his dynamic personality to bear on creative initiatives that have resulted in huge impact for charitable causes. Originally Intended to support local law enforcement, the scope of Peace*Love*Happiness expanded to encompass first responders and their families and now charities of all types. In fact the ride expanded to three separate events in 2015, benefitting Infinite Heroes, Meeting The Need as well as Austin's law enforcement community.
"Although Gary is firm in his belief that a person shouldn't be recognized simply for doing the right thing, we beg to differ," says Robbins. "Gary's great works definitely deserve the recognition and a place in the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum's Hall of Fame." In addition to Spellman, four other equally deserving inductees are included in the Class of 2016.
The Class Of 2016
Bert Baker - V-Twin motorcycle drivetrain innovator, businessman and patriot, Bert Baker is committed to using materials, labor, creativity, know-how and grit born of America.
Jerry Covington - Whether it is on TV or the cover of virtually every biker magazine in the world, it is hard to miss custom builder Jerry Covington. What does get overlooked is Covington's behind the scenes commitment to the motorcycle community, his selfless donation of time and resources to those less fortunate through has various charity projects.
John Penton - One of the most influential figures in off-road motorcycling in the world, John Penton developed a legendary brand of motorcycles that bore his name (better known as KTM today). He also founded Hi-Point, an accessory and distribution company that had 50 percent of aftermarket sales in the U.S. and set the mold for modern distribution powerhouses.
Gary Spellman - Using motorcycle as a means to further charitable causes, philanthropist Gary Spellman has been quite effective in utilizing motorcycles to raise money for charities benefiting first responders and their surviving families. He has also brought major business owners into the family of motorcyclists as well as creating the Peace*Love*Happiness Charity Ride with fellow Hall Of Famer John Paul DeJoria.
Buddy Stubbs - Talk about being born into the business, Buddy Stubbs was raised in his father's Harley dealership in Decatur, Illinois and has spent his entire life in and around dealerships, including opening two of his own in the greater Phoenix area. This year marks his 50th year as a dealer and more significantly an ambassador to the motorcycle lifestyle.
"It is fitting for our 15th Anniversary that we have both John Paul Dejoria and Gary Spellman highlighting the Class of 2016 ceremonies. Their philanthropic works, inspiration and core belief in the positive powers of motorcycle are the pillars that the Museum was founded," says Robbins. "Honor the Ride. Build the Legacy... Join us for the 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast on August 10, 2016 at the Lodge at Deadwood in Deadwood, South Dakota. Breakfast tickets are available for a $35 donation, tables of eight for $300. Tickets are available by calling the Museum at 605/347.2001 or they can be purchased online at http://www.sturgismuseum.com/shop/hall-fame-breakfast.