Written by Bill Hasson
As part of our 50 Ways to Make a Difference program, we decided to participate in this year’s Dream Ride on August 19 in Farmington, Connecticut. Now in its 12th year, the Dream Ride event is a motorcycle rally that supports the Special Olympics. Several thousand riders from ten states and Canada met at the Farmington Club this year, indicating what a huge event this has become in the motorcycle community.
The final result of KBE’s Dream Ride activities was raising $500 in sponsorships for Team Maryland/Team Business Development. This was a tremendous effort on your part and I want to thank each of you for your generosity and for supporting me and the Special Olympics. The CT team raised about $475 in sponsorships, as well, so collectively we provided almost $1,000 in donations. KBE also added a corporate sponsorship position, which raised the total contributions by another $1,000.
We had four KBE motorcyclists that day, three from CT and then me, from MD. In addition to riders, we also had about a dozen KBE employees and spouses who volunteered at various venues during the course of the day and helped keep things running smoothly.
On a personal note, this was a lot of fun for me. My mileage, door-to-door round trip, was 983 miles, making it one of the longest road trips I’ve done in the last three years. Except for some bad weather the first day out, it was great. The ride itself was about 42 miles through some spectacular country with about 2,000 bikes in all.
Another special moment for all of us was to see our own William Tacy and his mother Charlotte -shown in the photo at left – at the event. William works with us at KBE and is himself a Special Olympian, having earned medals in several events. A lot of our motivation to support the Dream Ride was to honor him. The smile on his face lets you know immediately that you’ve made a good decision in supporting his cause and that of this very special group of people. They are all remarkable in their accomplishments.
And just a comment about ‘”bikers:” in spite of our sometimes questionable appearance and undeserved reputation (after nearly 60 years, that whole Marlon Brando thing still haunts us!) I have rarely found another group of individuals who are more charitable than the ones in the motorcycle community. Where else would you find a bunch of people who will ride for days/miles, go out of pocket for their expenses, and then pay for the privilege of taking a 40 mile tour they could have done on their own for nothing?
My hotel had two groups that weekend: the bikers and a large wedding party. The bikers were all in bed by 10:00 PM and the clowns from the wedding party were all still running up and down the halls and carrying on until 2:00 AM. It all evened out, though, when 50 to 60 bikes fired up all at the same time at 8:30 the next morning. We like to call it the Milwaukee Alarm Clock.
Again, thank you to everyone who participated and supported us and this event. Good things happen when good people come together.