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Sturgis Rally organizers give over 60 thousand dollars to community


Gary Matthews - September 5, 2018

STURGIS, S.D. - The Sturgis City Council on Tuesday night kicked off their 2018 Rally Gives Back campaign with donations of over $60,000 to local charities.

The funding comes from several events held by the City, Sturgis Motorcye Rally, Inc. (SMRi) and sponsors during the 2018 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

According to the most recent accounting available, the South Dakota Department of Revenue has collected nearly $1.29 million in taxes from temporary vendors at the motorcycle rally, according to a release from the City of Sturgis.

The state sales tax accounted for the majority of collections with $742,181.  The department’s 2018 collections also include $245,019 in state tourism tax.

The Northern Black Hills, which includes Sturgis and all other communities in Meade and Lawrence counties, accumulated $972,278 in tax from the 804 vendors present. The Southern Black Hills, which includes Rapid City, Custer, Hill City and Keystone, had 207 temporary vendors with $313,893 in total tax collected.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says the rally hosts not only motorcycles, food and music, it also generates thousands of dollars to help local charities provide services to Black Hills Communities year around. The rally is often a significant source for many of the area's non-profit agencies.

SMRi donated $50,000 this year that will be redistributed to local non-profit agencies within the greater Sturgis area. The City of Sturgis has awarded an additional $19,575.

This year's Mayor Ride brought in thousands of dollars for various agencies. The Sturgis Fire Department, Fire Station Lot, and Sturgis Ambulance will each receive $7,500. The Police Reserve Program will get $5,000, the Sturgis Animal Shelter will receive $2,500, the Deadwood V.F.W. and United Way get $2,000 and Wounded Warriors receives $373.

The Mayor's Poker Tournament raised nearly $800 for the Sturgis Arts Council this year and the Legendary 5K Run raised $1,000 for the Sturgis Senior Center.

Two Rally sponsors, Brown-Forman and Jack Daniel's, each gave $10,000 to the Sturgis Scholarship Fund and Sturgis Rally Charities.

Additionally, charitable dollars are raised by private organizations and businesses. This year, the Hamsters U.S.A. organization was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. During their 40-plus years of philanthropic efforst, the group raised $262,000 for LifeScape Children's Care of Rapid City. These funds all stay local to support children with disabilities in Western South Dakota.



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