CAPITALIZING ON LAST YEAR’S INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM, the Omaha Home for Boys launched the second year of the nationally-recognized Helping with Horsepower Bike Rebuild program Tuesday, January 21.
The first night of action –included learning the rules of the program, going over the mechanics and discussing themes and designs for the motorcycle and the initial dismantling of the bike on the Omaha Home for Boys campus at 52nd Street and Ames Avenue.
Subsequent nights, youth work on the motorcycle — including building the 124 cubic-inch twin cam motor, donated by S&S Cycle, and transmission, donated by Baker Drivetrain — at Black Rose Machine Shop in southwest Omaha. Superior Dental Health of Omaha (with offices in Lincoln and Grand Island) has signed on to be our official 2014 Bike Sponsor.
The finished, customized motorcycle will be unveiled Tuesday, May 13, the final night of the project, at the Omaha Home for Boys campus.
Helping with Horsepower uses a motorcycle as a tool to teach life lessons on a personal and professional level, and the Omaha Home for Boys is once again partnering with Laura Klock of Klock Werks Kustom Cycles, in Mitchell, S.D., who developed the program.
The hands-on project has been used in eight other states across the country as a different way to help at-risk youth learn how to overcome life’s obstacles and realize that, like their lives, a motorcycle can be rebuilt better than before.
The intent of the project is to provide education, empowerment and encouragement for OHB youth, who are generally at-risk due to neglect, poor environment, truancy or poor school performance, drug and alcohol abuse and/or the inability of their families to support them.
“This experience delivers one important message: Just like a motorcycle, you can repair and rebuild anything in your life with the right tools and inspiration,” said Omaha Home for Boys President and CEO Jeff Moran.
Jeremy Colchin of Black Rose returns to facilitate the nine-month program, which will occur in two phases. In phase one, youth design the paint scheme, participate in the marketing plan, give the bike a new name and customize the bike.
During the second phase, the rejuvenated bike will travel throughout the community – in parades, at events, bike nights, poker runs, you name it! – to promote raffle ticket sales, which will begin Saturday, June 28.
Everything – including the announcement of the bike raffle winner – culimates at the Home’s Restoring Hearts with Bike Parts celebration Thursday, September 25, at the Hilton-Omaha. JEFF WADDINGTON of Omaha won last year’s customized 1999 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail motorcycle.
The event was well-attended, bringing more than 400 people together for cocktails, silent auction, dinner and entertainment. Academy Award winning actress MARLEE MATLIN gave a moving, inspirational presentation and longtime friend and mentor Henry Winkler, who was originally scheduled to speak but had to cancel due to filming, introduced Matlin via video.
Omaha Home for Boys Development Officer and Events Manager, Trish Haniszewski, said, just as they did last year, she hopes that at-risk and troubled youth will learn to be stronger, develop a more positive self-image and sense of worth and accomplishment while being involved in this type of learning — all simply by wrenching on a motorcycle.
“The whole idea behind this is to show these kids that damage can be undone,” Haniszewski said. “While the youth at Omaha Home for Boys work to remove the damage from their project motorcycle, they also work to repair the damage to their lives while they are in the care of the Home.”
Thank you to our generous 2014 sponsors:
Black Rose Machine Shop
Superior Dental Health
Loess Hills Harley-Davidson
Butterfield’s MC Parts, Omaha
Top Dog Powder Coating LLC
American National Bank
Dennis Kirk, Inc.