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Motorbikes and Turkeys Drops

Harley-Davidson to support AUSA Programs

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What do motorcycles have in common with turkeys?  Pretty much absolutely nothing.  After all, a turkey has feathers, and a motorbike has polished steel.  Despite the dissimilarities between a tasty avian and a mechanical work of art, the two are being brought together as Northwest Harley-Davidson in Lacey organizes their 3rd annual Freedom Ride as they support the programs of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).

This year, Harley-Davidson is backing Operations Turkey Drop and Ham Grenade.  Both projects raise funds and canned food items, mostly by donation from the community, to purchase and deliver Turkeys (for Thanksgiving) and Hams (for Christmas) to younger military families across McChord Field and Camp Murray for the holiday season. 

"Our goal is to ensure we can help select service members reduce the cost of their holiday meals." Said Carlene Joseph, chapter president from AUSA in charge of both programs.  "We try to touch most units on JBLM and Camp Murray.  Last year, we gave about 25 turkeys and 25 hams to each unit."

Turkey Drop and Ham Grenade, which is a program under the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the AUSA, is largely a community effort, and will continue beyond after the Freedom Ride, through until the end of the year and holiday season. 

"We work with the leadership of different units on JBLM to identify families, more specifically lower enlisted families."  Joseph explained.  "We then deliver the turkeys and hams all over JBLM and Camp Murray in box trucks that are owned by our corporate AUSA members.  Some of these corporate members also donate funds towards the purchase of the turkeys and hams."

The Harley-Davidson Freedom Ride, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17th, will include free coffee and donuts, a color guard presentation, lunch catered by O'Blarney's Pub and Grill and numerous raffle items. 

"The Freedom Ride is a motorcycle ride coordinated by Northwest Harley-Davidson in Lacey,"  said Joseph.  "The run lasts about 2-3 hours; they go to a specific destination and return back to Northwest Harley-Davidson."

Although the event is set to begin at 10 a.m., registration will start at 9 a.m.

Contributors are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, which will lower the standard cost for admission to the Freedom Ride from $15 to $10.  These non-perishable food items will be donated as well to the military families across McChord Field and Camp Murray.  "I recommend that people bring items to serve during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays," said Joseph.  "By doing this, different units can choose to assemble food baskets with the Turkeys and Hams.  Some units use these turkeys and hams to assemble food baskets for families."

Northwest Harley-Davidson, who has supported AUSA two times in the past before, is coordinating the Freedom Ride along with the Brothers in Arms Motorcycle Club.  "Last year, an $800 donation was made.  They do a great job," said Joseph.  "We hope to do better this year."  This year, all organizations hosting the event hope to raise a goal of nearly $1,000. 

Even if you don't ride a motorcycle, we would welcome any canned items or cash donations."

If you can't make it to Northwest Harley-Davidson that day, all donations can be made payable to AUSA and mailed to:  AUSA, PO Box 33181, JBLM, WA 98433"
The Freedom Ride is scheduled at 8000 Freedom LN. NE. Lacey, WA 98516 at Northwest Harley-Davidson.  Potential donators, attendees and contributors can call Harley-Davidson at 360-705-8515 or visit for more information about the Freedom Ride and what can be donated.

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