Gateway Harley-Davidson® Events USO
April 12, 2014
There are many types of services done by men and women across the country. Police, firefighters, teachers, coaches, religious leaders and on and on. We are all very grateful for all these folks for they have made a difference in the lives of many.
Today we are here to honor the ordinary mothers, fathers, sons and daughters that have done something extraordinary for the rest of us. Brave, selfless individuals that leave their families, friends and comforts while sacrificing their future all so that we can live in freedom. Not all of us are willing to sign up and go put ourselves in harms way..we should be thanking God daily for the men and women of our Armed Forces.
I heard a story the other day about the soldiers coming home. They often have a hard time sleeping because their beds are too soft, they are used to sleeping on the ground. Have you heard about the toilet paper rations? What about the Moms and Dads that don’t get to see their babies being born and all the other significant life events we often take for granted. Then there's the young men and women that lose their limbs, their minds or their lives. A "Thank you" just doesn't seem like it's enough. It's up to people like you and our team here at Gateway to do more than just say thank you. Sacrificing a little of our own time or comfort to try and pay back the families of our Armed Forces is really small in comparison. One person, one moment at a time we can all make a difference in the lives we reach out and touch. Think how different our lives would be without our military families and all their sacrifices.
One of the greatest things about you and all us Biker families is our love and appreciation for Freedom and for our armed Forces families. Let's give a huge round of applause to those that have and still serve. If they would please move towards the stage so we can now recognize them.
We are so incredibly grateful for the USO of Missouri for being there to take care of those that take care of us! The USO of Missouri and all of its volunteers step up and do what it takes to give our brave women and men of the US Armed Forces a little taste of home while they are on their journey protecting the country and our freedom. The USO of Missouri depends solely on your donations.
And with that the Team at Gateway Harley-Davidson® and our Harley Davidson® biker community would like to present this check for $20,000 to the USO of Missouri! Thank you for all that you do, and keep on keepin on!
Written by Chris and Rene Creed
Owners of Gateway Harley-Davidson®
Year of the USO
Our largest fundraising effort is the "Year of the USO", to raise money for the USO of Missouri. This organization has given so much back to the troops and their families, and Gateway Harley-Davidson® has been a proud supporter since 2003. In the year 2012 we were proud to present the USO of Missouri with a check for $20,000. Check presentation will be on April 19, 2013 at 4:00pm at Gateway Harley-Davidson®. For the 2013 year our goal is to raise $50,000 to donate to the USO of Missouri.
History of the Event (As told by Rene Creed)
Gary Surdyke, my father, has always had a special place in his heart for the USO. As an airman in the United States Air Force, Gary shared in the benefits of the USO. He actually met his wife (my mom) at a USO function. First he actually hit Linda with a volleyball in the pool and then, as he states, did “the best thing to get to her, by asking her friend to dance (not her) at the sock hop that night.” The rest is history. When opportunity blessed Gary, he wanted to give back to such a great cause that played an important role in his life. This desire was carried forward with Chris and me, and has been instilled as a company-wide commitment to support an organization that gives so much back to our military families and community. In 2003 we started the “Gypsy Rendezvous Event” which featured a multi-dealership memorial ride and ceremony; a weekend of drag racing partnered with the AHDRA and NHRA drag races at the local race track; a bike show; and a motorcycle raffle. The event was successful, continuing on an annual basis for next six years. With the closing of the local race track, the Gypsy Rendezvous event had to be altered. The event was re-branded as the “Year of the USO” and extended from one weekend to a year-long fundraising effort that has raised just under $100,000 for the USO of Missouri over the years.
-Rene Creed (Owner/Operator of Gateway Harley-Davidson®)
About the USO of Missouri
“The USO of Missouri, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization, whose mission is to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families by providing a ‘touch of home’ through our facilities, a shoulder when needed, and fun family events” (http://www.usomissouri.org/). The USO of Missouri serves 300,000 troops annually and has an outreach throughout the state of Missouri and Southern Illinois.
The “USO of Missouri” is financially independent from the “National USO”. Just as the National USO is a nonprofit, charitable corporation that relies on donations from individuals, organizations and corporations to support its programs, so does our local USO of Missouri. Since 1981, over 4 million traveling military and their families have benefited from the services provided by the USO of Missouri. They provide services and smiles to more than 270,000 military personnel and their families annually. Check out their web page for more detail on all the types of ways the help. http://www.usomissouri.org/about-us.
Stateside Military Financing Program
Reduced rates, no down payment and flexible term options available through Eaglemark Savings Bank, a subsidiarty of Harley-Davidson® Financial Services let you finance your whole ride. Designed specifically for active duty military personnel, our options may allow you to add Harley-Davidson® Genuine Parts &Accessories, Harley-Davidson® MotorClothes® and Protection Plans from Harley-Davidson® Financial Services into your motorcycle loan.
Active Military includes: Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves. Contact us for more details.
Currently the “Year of the USO” is our dedicated fundraising effort and has been every year since 2003. It is comprised of a series of events at our Dealership throughout the riding season where each event has a special element to raise money for the USO of Missouri. These events have included open house lot parties; the Gypsy Rendezvous Memorial Ride; The Gearhead Invasion Car and Bike Show; Bike Washes; Tee Off for the Troops Charity Golf Scramble; etc. Each event includes a strong USO of Missouri presence on site, participation from local military organizations as well as vendors, bands, local motorcycle organizations, and other community members. Raffle tickets are sold throughout the year for a motorcycle which is given away at our final party of the year at the Dealership. Each event throughout the year promotes awareness for our fundraising effort, leading up to the Veteran’s Day Event at our dealership following the Veteran’s Day Parade in downtown St. Louis. You can see all the upcoming events here.
We also love participating in off-site events in our community. These past events have included the Working Women’s Survival Show; St. Louis Mardi Gras; St. Louis Cardinal’s Baseball Home Opener; Gateway Cup Cycling Races; El Monstero Concerts in the Park; Pedal for the Cause; St. Louis River Rub; St. Louis Veteran’s Day Downtown Parade; local bike nights; as well as USO of Missouri events such as the Red, Rock &Blue Concert; and the 5K Cross Country Mud Run; etc.
2014 Tee Off for the Troops Golf Scramble
We are looking for support from local military and military-associated organizations for their help in making these events a success. This might include (but certainly not limited to) items or vehicles that could be put on display, period reenactments, vendors to sell food or merchandise and give a portion to the USO of Missouri, donated items for raffles, monetary sponsorship, etc. Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Sponsor/Vendor information.
4,000 raffle tickets for the motorcycle are sold at $10 each. All proceeds from the raffle benefit the USO of Missouri. They are sold by our Dealership team as well as USO volunteers. They are sold in the Dealership, at all of Gateway Harley-Davidson’s offsite sponsored events, and by the volunteers of the USO of Missouri at all of their events throughout the year. The motorcycle is raffled off at Gateway Harley-Davidson’s annual on-site Veteran’s Day Event that follows the St. Louis Downtown Veteran’s Day Parade. The winner does not need to be present to win, but a $1,000 Gateway Harley-Davidson® gift card is given in a second place drawing to those in attendance.The majority of our fundraising efforts are due to our annual motorcycle raffle.
The motorcycle raffle is only a portion of the proceeds raised for the USO of Missouri through our efforts. We ask that all on-site event vendors throughout the year donate a specified amount or a portion of their day’s proceeds to the USO of Missouri. Donations are collected from event attendees through ride registration fees, bike show registration fees, golf registration fees, silent auction proceeds, 50/50 raffles, donation buckets scattered throughout the Dealership, etc. The children of our Dealership management also get in on the fun and run lemonade/bake sales on the weekends through the summer to raise additional money for the cause.
Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 314-845-9900 or online. They can also be purchased at Gateway Harley-Davidson® until November 8th (or while supplies last).
Press Release from 2013:
April 16, 2013
At Gateway Harley-Davidson® we sell Freedom; it’s a different kind of Freedom than what our troops fight for! This wonderful thing called Freedom is sometimes taken for granted but has come at the expense of many lives and much sacrifice. Our Family here at Gateway H-D and at home cannot thank the Troops and their families enough for what they go through, fight for, and endure for us.
We can tell you first hand that there is nothing better than Skyping with a soldier who is overseas, while his wife is here on our showroom floor, purchasing his new bike. Hearing his excitement and seeing his unit in the background cheering is mind blowing experience!
We are blessed to represent the brand Harley-Davidson®, an American Icon of Freedom and for the USO of MO allowing us to represent their wonderful organization. The USO of Missouri, rely strictly on donations, they are all volunteers taking care of and providing appreciation to our soldiers and their families.
We want to thank our entire Team here at Gateway H-D and all the wonderful volunteers of the USO of MO for working all year long to help raise money for the USO of MO. And we want to thank our wonderful family of customers that participate and give their support to the USO of MO.
One person, one moment at time we can all make a difference in the lives we touch. Think how different our lives would be without our military families and all their sacrifices.
Over the years our money raised has added up but we always wish we could give and do more. We would like to present the USO of MO with a check for $20,ooo and a commitment to continuing our efforts to support our troops thru the USO of MO.
Written by Chris and Rene Creed
Owners of Gateway Harley-Davidson®