A little tear came to my eye earlier this week when I saw photos of a distant cousin of mine on a brand new Yamaha dirt bike. The bike is more than a toy for him; it will be one thing he can hop on to get away and hopefully forget that he has cancer.
Mason is a 5-year-old who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. It broke hearts in our family to hear such a young, happy child would have to undergo multiple tests, chemo and other medical treatments. But to see his happy face as he wore his Thor and Fox Racing gear and sat on that bike was priceless.
Mason’s bike came from efforts at the Brighter Days Foundation, but it was donated by Brothers Motorsports in Brainerd, Minn. (Check out the photos on the Powersports Business Facebook page.) I’m thankful to both organizations for helping this little boy find a little more joy in his life, while he’s fighting this awful disease.
This story touched my heart personally, since it involved my family, but I know a lot of dealers, aftermarket suppliers, service providers and OEMs in our industry are extremely giving.
Just a few weeks ago, we reported on UV Country Powersports in Alvin, Texas, and its fundraising for Operation Family Home, which builds mortgage-free houses for returning wounded and disabled veterans and widows of fallen veterans. Adam Smith’s Harley-Davidson in Bedford, Texas, recently allowed a group fundraising for an ill child of a police officer to host event at his dealership. And I see press releases, news stories and Facebook posts daily about dealers reaching out in their communities. What a great industry we work in!
If you’re not yet involved in charity events, or you don’t think you’re involved enough, there are a lot of ways to get involved. Plenty of organizations can use any help they can get. You can do like Adam Smith did and find an organization that could use some extra funds. You can do as little as allow them to host the event at your dealership, or you can provide extras, such as Smith did. Or host an event in the name of charity as Shannon Tracy of UV Country did. Don’t have funds to help out or enough space for a big event? Consider helping out in other ways, like taking an extra day off and taking your employees to a Habitat for Humanity build. Or find a charity event in your area and find out how you can lend a hand with manpower or resources.
Participating in these events will mean a lot to your staff, and an as an added benefit, it will be a great marketing tool for you as your community sees and hears about your work. If I were in the Brainerd area, I know I’d stop by Brothers Motorsports to give them my businesses.
Know your charity efforts mean a lot to the people and the organizations that you helped. I know the recent gift of that dirt bike to Mason meant a lot to him and his family.
Liz Hochstedler is the associate editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She assembles the brand’s twice-a-week e-news and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis and dealership conference, Profit Xcelerator.
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® is grateful for the ongoing support we receive from the powersports community. Motorcycle dealers around the country support our national Ride for Kids® program, which has helped us raise more than $67 million for medical research and family support since 1984. Much of that support has come from our longtime presenting sponsor, the Honda Riders Club of America.
At our events, kids and their families can forget about cancer for a few hours and just have fun. If you haven’t experienced Ride for Kids®, we invite you to join us for the ride of a lifetime! Learn more at http://www.rideforkids.org.