Santa Claus is coming to Worth Harley-Davidson.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Santa Claus will be available to have his picture taken with children at Worth Harley-Davidson, 9400 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City.
Inside the motorcycle dealership is a box for customers to donate to Toys for Tots. They are also accepting donations for a local dog rescue shelter.
These are a couple of examples of Worth Harley-Davidson being in the Christmas spirit of giving.
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Actually, throughout the year, Worth Harley-Davidson is in the spirit of giving back to its community.
“We do a lot,” said Chris Geren, general manager at Worth Harley-Davidson.
“We will sponsor rides that start here all summer. We supply the venue. We can do as many as three or four on a Saturday. All the rides raise money for charities. We do over 100 rides a year for various charities.”
The winter months appear to be a slow time for motorcycle venues in Missouri and Kansas because of the cold and sometimes snowy weather. But the colder weather doesn’t stop motorcycle enthusiasts from coming to Worth Harley-Davidson.
“Normally, what we get this time of year is people buying Christmas gifts of our motor clothes in our general merchandise department,” Geren said.
The way Worth Harley-Davidson endears itself to the community is one reason it has a loyal base of customers 12 months a year.
In February around Valentine’s Day, Worth puts on an event called Harleys and Hearts. This February will mark the sixth year for the event. Two cardiologists, a nurse practitioner and two RNs come out, said Anne Saults, a manager at Worth. Among the things they do is check blood and cardiology lab screenings.
The Harleys and Hearts event grew from an idea from a cardiologist who took a motorcycle training class given by Worth.
“We have a training facility called the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy where we train people how to ride motorcycles,” Geren said. “The cardiologist was a guy we trained to ride. It was his idea to come up with Harleys and Hearts.”
The biggest charity event Worth Harley-Davidson participates in yearly is Bikers for Babies for the March of Dimes in September.
The event celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sept. 21. More than 5,000 bikers participated. The ride starts at the Kansas Speedway on Sunday and continues for 80 to 90 miles before returning to the Speedway.
The Saturday before the ride, the bikers come to Worth Harley-Davidson to register for the ride.
Rick Worth, owner of Worth Harley-Davidson, donates a new motorcycle for a raffle, and the money goes to the March of Dimes.
“The actual event brings in $600,000 to $700,000,” Geren said. “They will have somewhere between 5,000 to 8,000 riders. It is all the Harley-Davidson’s riders and riders of other models.
“The money raised is used for premature babies. We make the donation of a motorcycle, which is probably the most substantial of the donations. We have been doing it for over 10 years.”
Another example of Worth Harley-Davidson giving back to its community is the donation it makes for Saint Luke’s North Hospital’s Playing it Safe program.
“Saint Luke’s North puts on heart screening for high school athletes in the Northland,” said Amy Schnoebelen, marketing manager at Worth Harley-Davidson. “They have screening for $65. It is a full screening. We gave $16,000 last year. The kids who can’t afford the $65, our donations helped them do it for free.”
While December is a time for the employees to catch their breath a bit before gearing up for another busy spring and summer, they would like nothing more than to see their store filled with people today in the holiday spirit. It will be a festive atmosphere.
“If you bring your kids here, we have a motorcycle group that works with crafts with the children and they are going to work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Saults said. “And we do have Santa Claus coming.”
If you have a story you would like to see in Making a Difference, email David Boyce at Drive@ksctar.com