EDITOR’S NOTE: This page will post updates on efforts made by powersports Dealers and industry to provide rescue and relief efforts in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. We will update this page as more information comes in. Send updates to firstname.lastname@example.org
Freedom Powersports helps rescue Houston residents, dealership launches pet supply drive
By Taylor Jasper
Hurricane Harvey has dominated the prayers of America since first making landfall on Aug. 25, and many of those prayers have been answered, thanks to raincoat wearing rescuers on personal watercrafts.
On Aug. 27 at 6:52 p.m. the Houston Police Department sent out a message on Twitter asking for anyone with a boat to come to Houston to aid in search and rescue, due to the expansive size of the affected area and the magnitude of the damage.
The department’s plea for help was heard all over the South, and soon trucks pulling boats and PWCs lined the highways across Texas. These volunteers worked on almost no sleep in almost complete darkness through the night and into the following days, pulling people out of stranded cars, flooded houses and even trees.
Freedom Powersports’ owner, Kevin Lackey, and regional manager, Chase Vance, were two of the volunteers that went down to Houston to assist efforts by providing Jet Skis and joining the search-and-rescue parties. Together, the two assisted in the rescue of more than 15 people.
Their efforts made up just one part of work being done across the powersports industry to help southeast Texas. “I have never seen the industry as a whole come together in a bigger way than this,” Lackey said. “Dealers from across the South and manufacturer have all really stepped up to help. It is really amazing to see everyone coming together to help out.”
While some brave men and women traveled to Houston to help, others across the country have begun campaigns to benefit those affected, collecting food, toiletries and even pet supplies.
Freedom Powersports in Dallas is hosting a pet supply drive to help support the SPCA of Dallas, which has taken in hundreds of additional pets from the Houston area. Freedom is collecting “pee pads,” towels and dog toys to take to the shelter.
Textron/E-Z-Go is also helping the SPCA by teaming up with Freedom Powersports to donate a six-person golf cart for the shelter to use when transporting animals.
The flood waters continue to rise days after the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm, and the number of people needing to be rescued continues to increase. Volunteers have been working in the affected areas for days with little rest, and have rescued thousands of people, pets and livestock, proving that when the devil sends a flood, God sends an angel on a jet ski. #comehellorhighwater
Taylor Jasper is marketing specialist for Freedom Powersports dealerships in Texas, Georgia and Alabama.
Fundraisers and Supply Efforts
Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA announced on Sept. 7 that it is donating five new Mule utility vehicles toward relief efforts in the region. “The destruction caused from Hurricane Harvey was devastating and the team at Kawasaki is anxious to lend our support to all those impacted,” said Yoshi Tamura, Kawasaki president and CEO. “We know our Kawasaki Mule vehicles will aid in assisting support teams, families, and our Dealers in repairing their homes and businesses. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to everyone affected.” Kawasaki also has initiated a donation-matching program for employees at all of its U.S. locations. The company will match all individual donations from $30 to $500 made to nonprofit organizations, it said.
Ray Price Harley-Davidson (Raleigh, NC) is partnering with Graybeard Distillery, maker of Bedlam Vodka, on a custom motorcycle that will serve as a centerpoint for donations during the upcoming The Ray Price Capital City Bikefest. “Both teams are eager to assist and hope that the necessities that we can provide will ease some of the suffering of Houston’s residents,” said Mark Hendrix, general manager of Ray Price-Harley Davidson. “After the unveil, the Bedlam Bike display will be a photographic opportunity meeting point for community drop-offs, which will be batched and sent immediately following Bikefest.”
“The immediate synergy between our companies, not only from a branding perspective with the Bedlam Bike, but also the harmonious working collaboration that developed between our teams made it immediately apparent to both of us that we needed to leverage that partnership to help Houston,” said Brandon Evans, CEO of Graybeard Distillery. “As such, Graybeard and Ray Price will be matching all product donations made at the Bedlam Bike display by the community in order to help citizens affected by Hurricane Harvey.” For more information about what can be donated, visit www.rayprice-hd.com.
The Ranch Harley-Davidson in College Station, TX, is collecting supplies for relief agencies in the affected areas and is keeping an updated list at its website: http://www.theranchhd.com/–HurricaneHarleyRelief
Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson in Colorado Springs, CO, organized a donation drive Aug. 31 for material goods to be sent to the Houston area. Cash donations were forwarded to the Red Cross. “These people lost everything,” said organizer Kathyrine Hepler to KOAA. “If one individual steps up and says, ‘Okay, today this is what I can do,’ then, by God, let’s do that.” Read more HERE
YC Powersports of Osage Beach, MO, is sending two of its drivers with supplies to the affected area. The dealership is accepting donations through Sunday, Sept. 3. “We are trying to get water, soap, tooth brushes, diapers, can food, dog or cat food for the shelters,” according to a Facebook post. “Any extra or old phone chargers… feel free to call us at 573-348-6200. Please ask for Kathy or Ashley.” Items may be dropped off their Osage Beach location off Passover Road Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Hisun Motors Corp., which is based in McKinney, TX, announced it donated more than 250 generators in cooperation with the Guns & Hoses Foundation of North Texas. The generators were transported to Southeast Texas by local police and fire department volunteers, the company said.
Bud’s Harley-Davidson in Evansville, IN, brought in a supply truck for donations during its Thursday Night Thunder on Franklin event Aug. 31.
Honda of Houston reports that employees have checked in with the dealership but that some are unable to make it to work.
Houston Motorsports reports that employees have checked in with the dealership but that some are unable to make it to work.
Team Mancuso Powersports announced on its Facebook page that its locations would reopen on Friday, Sept. 1.