Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Children’s Mercy Hospital

Written by  October 31, 2005

How high is the sky? This is a real question from real kids. Children are not limited by adult conventions. They are able to ask questions fearlessly, fully expecting an answer. 'How high is the sky?' is a demonstration of the child-centered environment at Children's Mercy, and it shows that Children's Mercy isn't afraid to ask the 'impossible,' and to involve patients on the journey to find answers.

The above statement, directly from the home page of the Children’s Mercy Hospital, speaks volumes about what this organization is all about. Dedicated to caring for all children regardless of their family's ability to pay, Children’s Mercy has been helping out families with seriously ill children since 1897. To accomplish this, they need assistance, either in the form of tax exempt donations or volunteer support.

In an effort to raise awareness of the need for volunteer support, Ken Ellis, Platform Lead from Harley-Davidson’s Kansas City Vehicle and Power Train facility and George Young, Employee Riders Association President worked together with plant management and hospital volunteer staff to establish a Bike Night for the downtown Children’s Mercy Hospital.

On this evening, employees were encouraged to ride to the hospital and park in the front entry loop. Here, the children were invited to come out and take a look at the employee- owned hardware and ask questions. A new orange Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod was also delivered, put on an elevator, and taken up to the fourth floor, where the kids could have their pictures taken with it. Teddy bears, bandannas and temporary tattoos, purchased by the Motor Company, were also handed out to the young patients.

Harley-Davidson has supported Children’s Mercy through their H-D Foundation, which was created to support communities where the company operates production facilities. The foundation provides funding and encourages employee volunteerism. In recent years, the foundation has funded for Children’s Mercy a child seat program, toys for waiting areas, and in cooperation with Science City, they financed the Museum on Wheels cart, a mobile interactive set of experiments that help the kids understand many various scientific premises. The Kansas City facility also supported a Hat and Mitten Drive, where employees donated hats and mittens or money to the Children’s Mercy facilities. Finally, in 2005, Civic Volunteer Award from Kansas City was presented to Harley-Davidson for their community involvement and support of Children’s Mercy Hospitals.

Children’s Mercy needs over 900 volunteers per year to assist with the transport of kids, cooking activities, Bingo, the Book Cart and other activities. If you are interested in helping out this very worthwhile cause, checkout the volunteers link or please contact Melissa Stover, 816-346-1300.

Story by Nic, photos provided by George Young