OPEN LETTER TO BILL DAVIDSON
Why Should Motorcyclists Support the MDA?
June 2009 (Special Edition)
THIS ARTICLE IN PDF FORMAT
6 June 2009
William J. "Bill" Davidson
Vice President of Core Customer Marketing
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
3700 W. Juneau Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53208-2865
According to this 2009 MDA Harley-Davidson Ride Calendar...
...this year we can once again expect you and the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, through your network of hundreds of North American dealers and H.O.G. Chapters, to convince thousands of motorcyclists to contribute countless hours and millions of hard-earned dollars to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. And my question for you is this:
WHY SHOULD MOTORCYCLISTS SUPPORT THE MDA?
According to Charity Navigator, the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities, the MDA has a two-star rating with an overall point score of only 46.00:
That two-star rating means the MDA "needs improvement" because their program "meets or nearly meets industry standards, but underperforms most charities in its Cause". And that means that as the philanthropic Pied Piper of Chrome Pipes, you and the Motor Company have many more deserving non-biker charities to lure your loyal customers to than the MDA. This, in turn, leads to my next question:
WHY SHOULD MOTORCYCLISTS SUPPORT *ANY* NON-BIKER CHARITY?
Should not we (meaning you and the Motor Company, along with me and the rest of your [hard]core customers) first take care of our own? Especially those riders injured, and the survivors of those riders killed, by failure-to-yield and other right-of-way violations resulting from the discretionary distractions of care-less cagers who go unpunished for their crimes?
With any motorcycle event, group or gathering comes a long line of "needy and deserving" charities begging for biker bucks. And thanks to H-D, none suckle better at the chrome-and-leather teat than MDA. But where do most of those proceeds go? I'll tell you: What the charity pirates don't waste or plunder usually gets passed on as medical payments, which in turn fund healthcare and insurance lobbies, and ultimately finance our political opponents in Washington DC and every statehouse from Augusta to Honolulu!
But as I've said before, bikers are not breasts, and we do not have to feed the mouths that bite us. We also do not have to look outside of our own tribe to find potential beneficiaries who are "needy and deserving". According to NHTSA, in 2007 alone 103,000 motorcyclists were injured and 5,154 were killed in traffic accidents. From just one 12-month period, that's more than 108,000 biker households who suffered loss of income, limb or life while incurring catastrophic medical bills, burial costs and other expenses to boot. So I ask you, Bill:
IS MORE DESERVING OF BIKER CHARITY THAN OUR OWN?
Speaking strictly for myself and no other individuals or organizations,
Author and Publisher, LdrLongDistanceRider.com
Co-Moderator, Bruce-n-RC's Biker Forum
Mile Eater Gold Member, Iron Butt Association (IBA)
Sustaining Member, Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)
2009 Chairman's Circle, American Motorcyclist Association (AMA)
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