Harley-Davidson announced today that the Company helped raise more than $160,000 on behalf of the United Service Organizations (USO) throughout November and December, which will be used to send care packages to troops overseas in the coming year. Donations were collected by Harley-Davidson dealerships and Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) chapters around the country in honor of Military Appreciation Month and the holiday giving season between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.
Harley-Davidson issued a challenge to local H.O.G. chapters to each collect $500 or more, and more than 200 chapters, along with dealerships from coast to coast, rose to the challenge to help raise the money to support the USO and U.S. troops stationed overseas.
“We’re incredibly grateful to our loyal customers and dealer partners who helped us make this partnership a big success,” said Mike McCann, Director of Core Customer and Military Marketing for Harley-Davidson. “We’re always looking for new ways to support our military men and women, and we’re proud to have been able to work with the USO on this effort.”
The largest donation came from the Wild Prairie H.O.G. Chapter from Wild Prairie Harley-Davidson in Eden Prairie, Minn. The group collected $10,853, and they will be honored for their efforts at their chapter meeting Thursday, Feb. 9 by Harley-Davidson staff, members of the military and representatives from the USO.
In addition to the snacks, toiletries and phone cards included in every standard care package, every package sent from the USO this year will also include two complimentary tickets to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee – approximately 250,000 tickets in total.
“These care packages are very important to our troops,” said USO Sr. VP and Chief Development Officer Kelli Seely. “They provide them with a touch of home and a way to connect with their loved ones. We’re thankful that Harley-Davidson was able to step up and support an effort that means so much to the USO and our troops.”
Harley-Davidson’s history with the U.S. military dates to World War I and World War II.
Today Harley-Davidson supports U.S. military personnel through programs like Harley’s Heroes. In 2007, The Harley-Davidson Foundation made its first $1 million grant to Disabled American Veterans to support its Mobile Service Offices that travel throughout the U.S. to provide counseling and assistance to help veterans and their families secure the benefits they earned through their service. The program has become known as Harley’s Heroes. Last year, the Foundation made a second $1 million grant to continue its support of the program.
Harley-Davidson also recently sponsored three tours of Bikes Over Baghdad, which brought a team of the biggest names in action sports to bases in Iraq, Kuwait and other parts of the Middle East to perform BMX shows for thousands of troops. For two of the three tours, Harley-Davidson sent one of its own employees along to show the company’s personal gratitude.
For more about Harley-Davidson’s Military Appreciation Month activities and the company’s longstanding commitment to the U.S. military, visit www.harley-davidson.com/military.