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Industry lends a hand to hurricane recovery efforts

Dealers, OEMs, racers give back to those in need

After Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area in late August and Hurricane Irma hit Florida in early September, many in the powersports industry made concerted efforts to help. Some hosted donation drives; others made donations from their inventory; and some found unique ways to raise cash. 

Hisun donates generators

Hisun Motors Corp., USA, based out of McKinney, Texas, teamed up with the Guns & Hoses Foundation of North Texas to make available for donation more than 250 generators to assist with Hurricane Harvey rescue and relief efforts taking place in Southeast Texas. The generators represent a retail value of approximately $225,000.

Employees at Hisun Motors Corp., USA in McKinney, Texas, prepare generators for distribution in Southeast Texas.

Local police and fire departments from all over North Texas gathered at Hisun national headquarters in late August to load up trucks and trailers to be delivered to Harris County and surrounding areas. After hearing of the donation on a local radio broadcast former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo tweeted his support to provide truckload transportation for the donated generators. 

With several first responders traveling to Southeast Texas to assist with relief and rescue efforts, local police and fire departments were equipped with generators to accompany their missions and assist those in need.

Ryan Daugherty, Hisun’s VP of Marketing and Sales, said: “To see Hurricane Harvey cause so much destruction is devastating, and watching it happen in our backyard is all the more devastating. Hisun USA is proud to partner with the Guns & Hoses Foundation of North Texas, who has the outreach and support to get this equipment into the hands of those who need it most and directly onto the front line equipping first responders who are working day-in and day-out in the middle of this destruction.”

“To receive a donation of this magnitude, and at such a quick response, is heartwarming. Knowing this equipment will be used to help save lives and rebuild cities and communities goes far beyond what anyone can expect,” said Dave Swavey, executive director of Guns & Hoses Foundation of North Texas.

Hisun Motors Corp., USA, based in McKinney, Texas, donated more than 250 generators to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Photos courtesy of Hisun Motors Corp., USA

Kawasaki offer Mules to relief efforts

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. donated 10 new Kawasaki Mule utility vehicles toward hurricane relief efforts — five for Houston and five for Florida. 

“With Hurricane Irma coming right on the heels of all of the destruction from Hurricane Harvey, everyone at Kawasaki is prepared to support those most recently impacted,” said Yoshi Tamura, Kawasaki president and CEO. “We have seen how the Kawasaki Mule vehicles are assisting support teams, families and our dealers in repairing their homes and businesses in Texas, and we will extend that assistance to those now affected in Florida and the rest of the Southeast U.S.”

The Kawasaki regional office in Dallas, Texas, immediately took action with individuals heading down to Houston to volunteer their time as many Kawasaki dealers also began loaning Mule utility vehicles to local relief organizations.

After Irma, many Kawasaki dealers immediately began loaning Mule utility vehicles to local relief organizations, and the Kawasaki regional office in Atlanta was ready to assist the OEM’s dealer network. 

In addition, Kawasaki will continue a corporate donation-matching program for employees at all of its U.S. locations. The company will match all individual donations from $30 to $500 made to non-profit organizations. As of Sept. 12, Kawasaki had donated a combined total of more than $150,000 to hurricane relief efforts.


KYMCO’s Natural Disaster Emergency Relief Program

Following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, KYMCO USA announced its Natural Disaster Emergency Relief Program. The company said via social media, “KYMCO USA understands the financial impact that natural disasters can create; we will be offering a special relief program to both our highly valued dealers and consumers affected by the uncontrollable forces of nature.”

From August through December, KYMCO USA is offering a special relief program to its consumers affected by the uncontrollable forces of nature. The OEM asked customers to see their local authorized KYMCO dealer to find out about discounts on replacement units, as well as discounts on parts and accessories for repairs related to natural disaster.

Mahindra donates $1.5M in cash, vehicles

Mahindra North America, its employees and dealer network are coming together to help with the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Harvey’s widespread impact on much of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. As a group, donations are going to support the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the American Red Cross. These two organizations are directing funds to benefit the areas that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. 

Additional tractors and utility vehicles have been made available to dealers for immediate use in the rebuilding efforts in their communities. Equipment is immediately available to government entities, companies and customers to ease the burden of access to a larger fleet for cleanup efforts. The combined donation of cash, services and equipment will be $1.5 million dollars in relief for the impacted cities and counties.

“As a Houston-based company, our employees and dealers have been directly impacted by Harvey. We are saddened to see the devastation left behind, not only in our community, but throughout the region, and our sympathies are with the storm victims. Mahindra is focused on the recovery and rebuilding process to help our neighbors and friends rise from this storm stronger than ever,” said Cleo Franklin, CMO/VP, Strategic Planning, Mahindra NA. “One of the three pillars of Mahindra’s Rise philosophy is driving positive change, and we are putting muscle behind this pillar as a company and as individuals in this time of great need.”

Farthing does his part

PWC racer and Mountain Motorsports owner Dustin Farthing launched a supply drive that led to a half-dozen private airplane loads of supplies being delivered from the Atlanta area to Houston. 

Farthing used donations to purchase more than $20,000 in supplies for those who lost their property during the hurricane. 

Mancuso dealerships in Houston collect supplies

A number of dealerships have partnered to send truckloads of needed items to Mancuso Harley-Davidson Crossroads and Mancuso BMW in Houston, for the dealerships to distribute. 

Peterson’s Harley-Davidson South and Peterson’s Harley-Davidson of Miami North in Miami, Florida, served as collection sites for donations to send to the Mancuso dealerships. Peterson’s said in an e-blast, “Texas needs our help and support. Please help us by donating items, so we can send immediately for those in need. We will be shipping boxes out daily.” 

The dealership requested items such as new underwear, new socks, diapers, wipes, bottled water, non-perishable food items, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, box fans, work gloves, work boots, new blankets and new pillows. 

Central Texas Harley-Davidson of Round Rock, and Woods Fun Center in Austin, Texas, collected donations and sent a truck to the Mancuso stores. 

Big Moose Harley-Davidson, of Portland, Maine, hosted a donation drive for victims through Sept. 16. The dealership also hosted a Donation Bike Wash from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. All proceeds were sent to Mancuso Harley-Davidson.

Mancuso Harley-Davidson Crossroads, of course, collected supplies, and Target, Walmart and Visa gift cards from its customers and neighbors at its dealership. A First Responders Appreciation Event was hosted from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, with a free lunch from 12-2 p.m. provided by the Houston Area #1 H.O.G. Chapter.

Dealers across the country pitch in

Several other dealerships have stepped up to support victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

Freedom Powersports, based in Fort Worth, Texas, sent a pair of PWCs to Houston to aid in search, rescue and evacuation efforts and delivered an E-Z-GO for the SPCA of Dallas to help with the influx of animals affected by the hurricane. 

Ray Price Harley-Davidson of Raleigh, North Carolina, displayed its custom bike developed in partnership with Bedlam Vodka at its Capital City Bikefest. The bike was the center point for donations of products sent to Houston. The dealership matched all product donations. 

Black Sheep Harley-Davidson, of Huntington, West Virginia, collected a variety of items, including baby items, wipes, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, paper towels, bottled water, gloves and blankets up to Sept. 2 to send to Harvey victims.

The dealerships in the Calculated Risk Motorcycle Group of Texas — Texas Harley-Davidson in Bedford, Roughneck Harley-Davidson in Longview, Texoma Harley-Davidson in Sherman, Harley-Davidson of Waco in Waco, Lumberjack Harley-Davidson in Nacogdoches, Texarkana Harley-Davidson in Texarkana and Lucky Penny Cycles in Bedford — hosted 72-hour Bottled Water Drives for Houston, which began on Aug. 29, to aid victims.

The Motorcycle Company’s Palm Beach Harley-Davidson in West Palm Beach, Florida; Avalanche Harley-Davidson of Golden, Colorado; Riverside Harley-Davidson in Riverside, California; High Octane Harley-Davidson of North Billerica, Massachusetts; Rawhide Harley-Davidson of Olathe, Kansas; and Huntington Beach Harley-Davidson in Westminster, California, each made a $100 donation to the American Red Cross for the Hurricane Harvey relief effort for every new Harley sold Sept. 1-3, and also served as donation drive drop-off sites. Henderson Harley-Davidson in Nevada is donating $100 for every bike sold through Sept. 30 to the American Red Cross, and the dealership is also collecting donations for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Gruene Harley-Davidson of New Braunfels, Texas, hosted a Hurricane Harvey Relief Ride on Saturday, Sept. 9. The ride cost $20 per rider and $5 per passenger with all funds going to Hurricane Harvey relief. 

Cannonball Harley-Davidson of Terre Haute, Indiana, teamed up with local charity Helping His Hands to raise money for hurricane victims. The dealership offered 15 percent off of one licensed Harley-Davidson item for all customers who visited the shop on Sept. 2. Proceeds went toward purchasing hygiene items and other supplies for those in need. 

Harley-Davidson of Dothan in Alabama helped gather items for those in need in Houston, collecting items in its service department until Sept. 2. 

Cycle Center of Denton in Texas collected items through Sept. 5 and sent a truck down to Houston. All cash donated to the dealership’s relief fund went directly to the Kiwanis Club of Houston to help kids and families in need.

Harley-Davidson of Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee; Harley-Davidson of Pensacola, in Florida; Emerald Coast Harley-Davidson of Fort Walton Beach, Florida; Mobile Bay Harley-Davidson of Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans Harley-Davidson of Metairie, Louisiana; and Smokin’ Harley-Davidson of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, worked to fill a Harley-Davidson 18-wheeler with relief supplies bound for Texas.

Harley-Davidson of the Woodlands in the Woodlands, Texas, served as a drop-off point for supplies that were donated to local shelters and facilities in need. 

Temecula Harley-Davidson in Temecula, California, asked its followers on Facebook to support hurricane relief efforts at its Bike Night on Sept. 7 and at its anniversary celebration on Sept. 9.

Fort Worth Harley-Davidson in Texas teamed up with World Vision and had customers send their donations to that organization for disaster relief. 

Vicars Powersports in McAlaster, Oklahoma, collected items through Sept. 7. The supplies were then delivered to a shelter in Dallas. 

The Ohio Motorcycle Group of dealerships Adventure Harley-Davidson of Dover, Mad River Harley-Davidson of Sandusky, Rubber City Harley-Davidson of Cuyahoga Falls and Rock-N-Roll City Harley-Davidson of Cleveland teamed up with the Police K9 Association to collect items.

Black Diamond Harley-Davidson partnered with Dark Horse Ministries to collect canned food, bottled water, toiletries and cleaning supplies that were going to be trucked down to Houston. 

Indian Motorcycle Charlotte and the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group of Charlotte hosted a “Harvey Sucks” fundraising drive through Friday, Sept. 15. 

Desert Wind Harley-Davidson and Bikers Against Child Abuse collected supplies for children affected by Hurricane Harvey through Sept. 17. 

Tallahassee Harley-Davidson in Florida offered free lunch throughout the week of Sept. 11 to first responders and linemen working to help Hurricane Irma victims in the area. 


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