Blood Drive & Open House Celebrates Harley Centennial

Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2003

A few decades ago, Mom and Dad may have rolled up the windows, locked the doors, and sped past a scene like last weekends rally and open house at the Kenai Peninsula Harley Davidson (KPHD) on the Sterling Highway.

Instead, Mom and Dad, Grandma, and Gramps, and kids of all ages were pulling into the store on their bikes, or parking across the street to walk over and donate blood, join the fun, and admire the hundreds of custom machines parked in the lot. They may not of been dressed like the Brady Bunch, but the folks enjoying the open house were certainly smiling more like they'd been touched by an angel, then riding with the Hells Angels.

There were doctors, lawyers, insurance salesmen, bankers, off duty fire and policemen, and even church pastors from throughout the local community gathering with their friends and family to celebrate one of America's true success stories, the Centennial year for Harley Davidson Motorcycles. "The motorcycle is part of America's history and Harley Davidson represents an American business success story that goes beyond business and has become something that people can join to have a good time, we have a large HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapter down here, and it's also about raising money for different non-profit organizations. We get to have fun, do good, ride and it's just a great American experience," said Jeff Babitt, KPHD Sales Manager.

Many attribute the danger of riding a motorcycle to its appeal, yet the entire month of May was recognized locally and nationally as Motorcycle Awareness and Safety month. There are more safety and learn-to-ride classes available then ever before, "It is safer to ride today, you look at a lot of the businesses in town, they have biker awareness signs out and here, at the Harley shop, we're helping biker safety by having classes for new and old riders so they can learn to ride and ride safely. It's not about the danger, it's about the freedom of the experience of riding," added Babitt.

The local chapter of the Blood Bank of Alaska collected over 30 units of blood during the open house. Cotton Moore barbequed ribs, and there was live music through out the afternoon from Southern Comfort, biker games and door prizes. According to KPHD & Buell General Manager Si Zimmerman, it was a good turnout and the event was a great success.

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