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Motorcyclists donate to assist Sturgis residents during the 80th annual Black Hills Rally
courtesy photo
Motorcyclists donate to assist Sturgis residents during the 80th annual Black Hills Rally

Motorcyclists donate to assist Sturgis residents during the 80th annual Black Hills Rally

News Release - August 10, 2020

STURGIS, S.D. - An initiative launched by motorcyclists to raise funds for the Sturgis Meals on Wheels program is inspired by riders’ regard for the city of Sturgis and the surrounding Black Hills. A goal of $8,000 in donations during this rally week is in thanks for the welcoming Sturgis community and to aid additional senior residents during the rally and any subsequent quarantine.

Over the next nine days, the world-famous small town of Sturgis, South Dakota hosts the 80th annual Black Hills Motorcycle Rally. Bikers have long been drawn to the riding which normally draws a throng of some 500,000 riders to enjoy the beautiful winding roads, epic vistas and many national monuments, parks and other features of the area. Attractions include the City of Sturgis, however riders are typically spread through many parts of the 5,000 square mile Black Hills of South Dakota and other regional attractions such as Devil’s Tower, WY. The heart of the rally, City of Sturgis hospitality is a main driver of why the rally is so successful for over 80 years.

The rhythm of the rally season is something that the citizens of Sturgis have become accustom to; however this year the rally is being affected by the same challenges the pandemic has triggered throughout the world. The projected attendance of just half the usual crowd, 250,000 a significantly reduced events schedule, and other changes made in consideration for the local citizenry will to undermine the critical tourism dollars that are key to the economic wellbeing of the area.

The Sturgis Meals on Wheels (SMoW) program has already been stretched thin—with the pandemic resulting in greater need and fewer resources. “We serve locals over 60 years old meals every weekday, and even provide meals for the weekend! With the uncertainty of the world right now, our seniors depend on us just so that they don’t have to worry about leaving their homes where they feel safe.” says Jamie Helms, the SMoW manager. “With our aging population taking the city advice to quarantine for a couple of weeks after the rally, we are a needed service now more than ever, but we will get it done as we always do!"

Cash donations will be accepted under the blue tent at 1230 Lazelle St  between 2-5 p.m. from Saturday 8/8/2020 through Saturday 8/15/2020, with a donation/information booth staffed by SMoW leadership. In addition, an official GoFundMe page has been set-up at:https://www.gofundme.com/f/sturgismow80th to encourage those who chose to skip the rally this year to donate the dollar value of one tank of gas that they would have spent on their ride to the rally.

“I know from past experience that motorcyclists are incredibly generous,” says Robert Pandya motorcycle industry veteran, and founder of the GiveAShift initiative that initiated this drive. “We respect any riders who choose not to come to the event due to Covid, but encourage them to ‘donate a tank’ to thank and help the local seniors who have seen the rally become the most famous of its kind in the world. Supporting the Sturgis Meals on Wheels program is a natural fit for any biker and will have a hugely positive impact for local senior citizens.”

Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen said in a recent interview that many visitors have already been riding through the area for the past few months, and personal responsibility is being encouraged locally and state-wide. The emphasis has been on preparing for the inevitable large group of riders attending the rally with increased cleaning schedules and cancellation of many group activities.

Augmenting the city-sponsored Sturgis Good Deeds Program that delivers supplies to local residents, the Sturgis Meals on Wheels program delivers meals free will donations further extending the ability for city programs to take care of local residents. Following the rally, a mass Covid-19 testing program will be in place. A local media agency,The Homeslice Group has ties to many events in the area, has assisted with design and regional media outreach.

Hashtags associated with the program are #SturgisMealsOnWheels #MotoGiveAShift

Websites associated with the program are:




Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785