Hollywood stars, motorcycle industry leaders and racing professionals joined riders and patriots to push the total raised for charity through Buffalo Chip events toward the million-dollar mark
The Buffalo Chip has taken a leadership role bringing together thousands of motorcyclists, patriots and fans in an effort to support and strengthen the Black Hills community through significant charitable contributions. Through its meticulous organization, marketing and staffing of premier events such as the Buffalo Chip’s Legends Ride® presented by GEICO Motorcycle, Legends Lunch, Biker Belles®, Rusty Wallace Charity Ride and Freedom Celebration, the Buffalo Chip has produced well-attended affairs and has raised a combined $985,393 for charities.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum has received $250,000 for the building fund.
Recipients in 2019 alone including South Dakota Special Olympics – Rapid City Flame, Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, Helping with Horsepower, Strider Education Foundation, Sgt. Colton Levi Derr Foundation, America’s Mighty Warriors, Warrior Dog Foundation and others received more than $132,000.
Signature Buffalo Chip charity events offer bikers the opportunity to break public perception and transcend social norms with bold solutions that benefit those with special needs, America’s wounded Veterans and Black Hills communities.
The Premier Charity Ride of the Sturgis Rally
Some of the world’s biggest stars joined with the Buffalo Chip and riders at 2019’s Legends Ride presented by GEICO Motorcycle on Monday, Aug. 5, making a powerful impact on local charities by raising $44,428. Those who attended the exclusive Legends Lunch that preceded the ride raised an additional $5,480.
Stars attending the event included Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, motocross legend Ricky Carmichael, actor and musician Sean McNabb, actor Tom Berenger, and Shannon Aikau, Ryan Evans and “Horny” Mike of HISTORY Channel’s “Counting Cars.”
The events were held on Deadwood’s Main Street and at the Silverado and Historic Franklin Hotel. The Legends Ride has been featured on CMT, the National Geographic Channel, the Tonight Show, FX Network and the Travel Channel, as well as in many additional print, online and newspaper articles.
Contributions to the Rapid City Flame have been used to purchase a van to transport Special Olympians to practices and events. In an effort to help create an essential permanent athlete training facility for the athletes in the Black Hills, in 2016 the Buffalo Chip pledged $100,000 to renovate an existing facility to meet the growing needs of the organization. The pledged donation is an investment in more than just a gym, giving the 127 Special Olympians who are members of the “Rapid City Flame” a sense of permanence and accomplishment. The floor of the facility has already been renovated with donated funds and is currently in use.
Biker Belles Continues a Tradition of Honoring Women
Biker Belles was created in 2008 to raise awareness of the passion, diversity and spirit of women in motorcycling and to raise funds for local worthy charities.
The Buffalo Chip’s 11th annual Biker Belles charity celebration in 2019 included the second annual Women & Wheels Bike Show™ presented by the Wild Gypsy Tour featuring women-owned bikes
In addition, the Morning Ride™ led participants on a journey from the Lodge at Deadwood to the Buffalo Chip’s CrossRoads where participants experienced the Comfort Zone by Team Diva, a catered lunch and an inspiring symposium of leading women in the motorcycle industry including Jessi Combs and Cris Sommer Simmons.
Contributions from the event support several charities including the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, The Strider Foundation’s All Kids Bike Program and Helping with Horsepower, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that empowers and encourages women and girls who are at risk or are victims of abuse. The organization has developed several programs that have shown proven results including their SpiritHorse Program, Entrepreneur Experience and the nationally recognized Helping With Horsepower Bike Rebuild Program.
Rusty Wallace Charity Ride Joins the Family of Signature Charity Events
After participating in the Legends Ride as a celebrity guest in 2018, NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace decided he wanted to lend his star power to the Buffalo Chip to raise more money for worthwhile charities including the NASCAR Foundation and The Strider Foundation. The All Kids Bike program through Strider helps bring up the next generation of riders by providing superior balance bikes and a proven Learn-To-Ride curriculum to organizations that seek to transform the lives of children with riding.
Fans flocked to Rapid City’s Main Street Square for the opportunity to meet Rusty, his celebrity racing friends and special guests including Sarah and Todd Palin. Many then rode with them through the Black Hills to a special reception and auction at the Buffalo Chip.
The incredibly successful inaugural event raised a whopping $37,188 for its chosen charities, a figure the team hopes to beat when the event returns again in 2019.
Freedom Celebration Pays Tribute to America’s Veterans
The annual Freedom Celebration is a day set aside to honor all those who have served and sacrificed to protect American lives and freedom.
This Buffalo Chip tradition that began nearly 30 years ago has resulted in significant donations to two organizations that benefit America’s veterans: America’s Mighty Warriors and the Warrior Dog Foundation.
The 2019 event included a charity auction, presentation of a specially constructed trike donated by an anonymous benefactor for a wounded combat veteran, presentation of a trained emotional support dog to a local vet with PTSD, and the Bob Hanson Distinguished Service Awards.
The Buffalo Chip plans to continue its mission of giving into 2020 with the return of events such as the Legends Ride, Biker Belles and Freedom Celebration.
A History of Giving
Below is a list of just some of the charities the Legendary Buffalo Chip has been involved with over the years.
The South Dakota chapter of A Brotherhood of Awareness Training and Education (A.B.A.T.E.) was at the Chip from 2006-2009, sponsoring motorcycle games. A.B.A.T.E. is a motorcycle charity committed to serving the motorcycling public by warning members against adverse motorcycle legislation and promote favorable legislation for motorcyclists, as well as improve road conditions.
American Veterans Traveling Tribute
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute charity travels the country with the Cost of Freedom Tribute to provide a way for the community to come together to honor, respect and remember those who have given their lives for the freedoms of our country. AVTT has displayed the traveling tribute wall on the west end of the Chip the past three years, which is free to the public to view, and stands along with the field of flags, put up by the Buffalo Chip.
BIC 4 GOOD
2011 and 2012
BIC 4 GOOD dedicated their time and resources to help raise money for Sturgis Kids and Chrome Organization and the Wounded Warrior Project respectively. Men and women were invited to their tent during the rally to get their heads shaved for charity. The shave was free, though for each head that was shaved, BIC 4 GOOD donated $4 to the designated charity for the year. The goal to be raised was $100,000, being donated by BIC USA Inc. Since its inception, BIC 4 GOOD has donated over $200,000 to four various causes.
Bikers Against Drunk Driving
2005, 2006, 2008
Bikers Against Drunk Driving work to reduce drunk driving incidences and its consequences. Funds have gone towards creating an emergency fund for victims of drunk drivers while they await other compensation and/or where no other compensation is forthcoming.
Black Hills Special Olympics
2011 and 2012
The Buffalo Chip’s annual biker charity Legends Ride started in Deadwood and concluded at the Chip. Half of the riders contributions were provided to the Special Olympics. The Mission of Special Olympics South Dakota is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children (8 years and older) 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.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation/American Thunder/Wounded Warrior
American Thunder promotes the Bob Woodruff Foundation charity that invests in programs which connect troops to the services they need, including physical rehabilitation and counseling, education, employment and financial assistance, as well as help with larger issues like homelessness and suicide.
Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills
Bunko Behinders (Lingerie for Life)
The Bunko Behinders are a group of charitable women who share the goal of finding a cure for cancer. Through Lingerie for Life, hosted at the Budweiser Roadhouse Bar, the Bunko Behinders created and decorated bras, which the Chip bartenders wore and were auctioned off nightly for the charity. All of the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society.
Children’s Craniofacial Association (CCA)
A motorcycle charity also known as Cher’s “Believe Ride.” In 2000, Cher autographed a Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom Sportster that was given away on the Buffalo Chip’s Wolfman Jack Stage. Proceeds went to the Cranial Facial Association. In 2001, Cher was joined on the ride by Survivor II winner Tina Wesson.
Children’s Home Society
Children’s Home Society of South Dakota serves over 2,000 children each year, primarily ages 4-13, through residential treatment, education, emergency shelter, forensic interview and exam centers, foster care and adoption services. The majority of the children are victims of severe abuse or neglect.
Clear Channel Ride for the Cure benefitting Relay for Life
2005 and 2006
Combat Wounded Coalition
The Combat Wounded Coalition's vision was to guide combat-wounded Purple Heart Recipients to find a purpose-driven life and peace of mind after the impact of war. The coalition optimized the potential of these warriors by mitigating the effects of trauma, expanding personal capabilities and inspiring them to find individual, unique purpose to create the life they want. In addition, CWC provided support to families of service members lost in combat, training or due to suicide or post traumatic stress.
DAV Chapter 11
The Disabled American Veterans charity has worked for the past 80 years to work on building better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families. Whether disabled veterans have needed a voice on Capitol Hill, a nationwide service program, a transportation network or unique rehabilitation opportunity, DAV has focused its attention and resources to meet those needs.
Faces of Courage – Lick Breast Cancer
Faces of Courage is a charity organization working to provide a life enriching experience to kids, women and families that were affected by cancer and/or blood disorders, hosting a women’s weekend camp for minority cancer survivors and is considered a leader in minority outreach and education. Current enrollment for their charity programs is 3,200 families and all programs are free to participants.
Good Turn Trike (Lehman Trikes)
The 2011 Good Turn Trikes by Victory Motorcycle and Lehman Trikes in honor of the US Military was presented to one lucky military member on Aug. 11, 2011 during the Buffalo Chip’s Freedom Celebration on the Chip’s Wolfman Jack Stage.
Habitat for Humanity
1981 and 1994
Hearts 2 Serve
This charity works to fully support the rehabilitation cycle for disabled servicemen and women and their spouses through the creation of meaningful career opportunities.
Helping with Horsepower
Helping with Horsepower designs volunteer programs that empower, encourage and raise funds for worthy biker charities. Its Bike Rebuild Program uses a damaged motorcycle as an effective tool to teach life lessons such as teamwork, self-confidence, problem solving and self esteem.
When classic rock band Journey performed at the Chip in 2005, they raffled off a bike to help with a cancer charity.
Keep a Breast Foundation
Keep a Breast Foundation is a charity that helped to raise money, providing Buffalo Chip campers with a Casting Party. Famous artists painted casts.
Kids and Chrome
Kids and Chrome is a motorcycle charity that, in just four years, raised more than a half million dollars to help impact the lives of special needs kids and preserve the history of motorcycling.
Locks of Love
2005 and 2008
Make a Wish Foundation (Magic Feet, Inc.)
1991-1991 and 2008
Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® charity has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. The foundation’s mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors and entire communities.
Military Order of Purple Heart
Never Forgotten (POW Car)
For one Vietnam Veteran, remembering was not enough. Over the years, each veteran has had to come to terms with the Vietnam War in his or her own way. Max Loffgren chose to pay tribute to those Americans who are still in Vietnam. His 1955 Chevy dragster is adorned with the names of 3,578 POW/MIA.
Max stopped by the Chip on his way to the Smithsonian to share his commemorative creation.
No Airman Left Behind
Racing for Life
Opportunities Independent Living Center
The Joy Ride was a motorcycle charity ride that concluded at the Chip with entertainment. A Harley, signed by Peter Fonda, was given away on the Chip’s Main Stage with proceeds going to the Opportunities Independent Living Center of Aberdeen, SD.
Patriot Guard Riders and the Field of Remembrance
PGR’s Field of Remembrance has all 50 state flags of the US as well as the flags of all branches of military. PGR membership is filled with volunteers from all walks of life and all backgrounds joined together with one purpose: honor our veterans, shield the families from disruptions if their hero has fallen, and respect our military and support the men and women who sacrifice to protect our freedoms.
Rapid City Regional Hospital Foundation
2009 and 2010
The mission of the Rapid City Regional Hospital Foundation springs from the mission of the hospital it serves. The Foundation generates financial support to carry out Rapid City Regional Hospital's mission: To provide and support health care excellence in partnership with the communities we serve.
Socks for Troops
Rupert's Kids is a nonprofit organization that stems directly from the vision of Rupert Boneham. It strives to both help and teach troubled youth in the community. You may recognize Rupert from TV’s Survivor or from seeing him speak in person.
Sky Ranch for Boys
Sky Ranch for Boys has a long history of providing troubled kids with a fresh start and a second chance. Each generation brings its own special issues and concerns, but the special relationship between boys and the ranch environment has proven to be a powerful and timeless one. In 2010, half of the rider’s proceeds from the annual Legends Ride celebrity charity event benefitted the organization.
Snipersonline works to provide an electronic network to those dedicated to the improvement of the sniping profession, furthering the knowledge base for law enforcement and military sniping.
Sons of Light Ministry
This ministry is dedicated to feeding the bikers, body and soul. They travel to different rallies and set up in campgrounds where they provide a free pancake breakfast for the bikers. In addition they have tables set up with bibles, tracts and children’s books that are free for the taking. As ordained missionaries they perform baptisms, weddings and provide Christian counseling.
South Dakota Youth and Hunting Program
St. Croix Valley Snipers
State of South Dakota
Sturgis Center for the Arts
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame
The Buffalo Chip’s Legends Ride started in Deadwood and concluded at the Chip. Half of the riders’ contributions were provided to the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Also in 2011 half of the Bikers Belle riders contributions were provided to the Museum.
Suicide Rides for Hope
United Blood Services
United Blood Services exists to make a difference in people’s lives by bringing together the best people, inspiring individuals to donate blood, producing a safe and ample blood supply, advancing cutting-edge research and embracing continuous quality improvement.
US Air Force
Offutt Air Force Base is home of the 55th Wing, the Fightin' Fifty-Fifth, and a variety of partner units. Offutt's diverse missions and global responsibilities put it on the cutting edge of the Air Force's transformation. Each branch of the US military is represented among the approximately 10,000 military and federal employees assigned here. Offutt is a beautiful community situated near the Missouri River in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska.
2009 and 2010
Veteran Tickets Foundation
VFW Post 3312
Vietnam War Memorial Committee National Guard
Western Resources for the dis-Abled Independence (WRDI)