Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Greater Kansas City H.O.G. Assists Special Olympics - Lee's Summit, Missouri

Written by  April 28, 2015

For many years, volunteers from Harley Owners Group’s Greater Kansas City Chapter have assisted Special Olympics in putting on their KC Metro Area Spring Games. This year’s event was held at Lee’s Summit North High School on April 25. Road Captain Bob Hyer led a 12-mile ride from Blue Springs Harley-Davidson to the school. Some of the volunteers met the group at North High bringing the count to eleven adults and one youngster.

Rain delayed the start of the event. After signing in and receiving volunteer T-shirts, the H.O.G. members took shelter under the bleachers and enjoyed coffee or hot chocolate while waiting for the shower to end. It wasn’t long before the weather improved, and the H.O.G. volunteers were called to the east side of the track where they would assist with the 100-meter running and walking events. Duties for the track events included lining up the competitors for their races, starting the races, using stopwatches to time each athlete, holding the ribbon at the finish line, and handling the paperwork. After each race, the athletes were escorted to the podium where they received their gold, silver, or bronze medals. Due to his considerable experience with firearms, Chapter Director Jeff Blystone was in charge of the starter’s pistol. Whenever one or more of the competitors were uncomfortable with the noise, arm signals were used instead of the pistol.

During the event, sunshine alternated with clouds and occasional sprinkles. As always, spectators and the special athletes enjoyed admiring the Harleys in the parking lot. When the event concluded early in the afternoon, the H.O.G. members mounted up and headed for Culver’s for a late lunch. As always, it was inspiring to see the determination, competitive spirit, and pure enjoyment exhibited by the special athletes.

Special Olympics was founded in 1968 by Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver as a means for people with intellectual disabilities to benefit from athletic competition. In 1971, Missouri Special Olympics was incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization.
The organization’s stated mission is, “to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.” Much more information is available on the organization’s website. Donations and volunteer support are always welcome.


Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com