Since World War I, Harley-Davidson has assisted the U.S. Military, from providing contests specifically for servicemen and servicewomen, to assisting organizations such as United Service Organizations (USO).
And Harley's latest efforts helped raise more than $160,000 for USO. The Motor Company collected the funds from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, which was the start of Military Appreciation Month (November) and over the holiday seasons.
The donations were collected at Harley-Davidson dealerships, and Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) chapters around the country; the funds will be used to send care packages to troops overseas in 2012.
H-D issued a challenge to collect $500 or more, and more than 200 chapters and dealerships across the country were successful garnering the amount.
Mike McCann (Director of Core Customer and Military Marketing for Harley-Davidson) says: "We're incredibly grateful to our loyal customers and dealer partners who helped us make this partnership a big success.
"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."
Harley reports that 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.
Kelly Seely (USO Sr. VP and Chief Development Officer) says: "These care packages are very important to our troops. 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 Miltary History
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 harley-davidson.com/military.