The Dallas Harley Owner's Group (DHOG) has a long history of involvement with charitable causes, and MotorCops for Kids is an event close to each member's heart. Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are a lifestyle for group members, and they live their passion through multiple areas of their lives. Some members show their pride in unexpected ways. Every year DHOG hand quilts a quilt using Harley® bandanas to raffle off at the MotorCops event. This year marks the 17th quilt.
How the Partnership Started
Starting in 2002, DHOG partnered with the Garland and Grand Prairie Police departments and Dallas Harley-Davidson® to sponsor an annual toy run on the third Sunday in November. DHOG Secretary Julie Steger is a master quilter who has quilted for years. She started the annual project as a fundraiser for MotorCops for Kids, and other quilters say quilt completion would be impossible without her. Other quilters who consistently pitch in are just as integral to the quilt's annual success.
Originally the group worked on quilts in members' homes. Some years ago they moved the project to the dealership.
The toy run raises money for the MotorCops for Kids charity, benefiting the Shrine Children's Hospital Burn Unit, in Galveston, Texas. Since 2002, DHOG and MotorCops for Kids have raised over $350,000 for the hospital, collected over 14,000 toys, and had over 23,000 motorcycles join in the annual toy run rides.
What Goes Into Making the Quilt
The group starts out by collecting H-D® bandanas from across the nation. When members travel across the country, they scour Harley® shops and rallys to build and maintain their extensive collection. From its inception each quilt is completely unique and the result of many group members coming together.
In the early part of the year, typically after the chili cook-off in January or February quilters sit down with a group of anyone who's interested. They lay out the bandanas, decide what color combination they want to use and often draw the basic quilt design from the bandanas themselves. Then they buy the fabric and other materials needed to get started.
Julie Steger pieces the quilt together. Then, starting in late Spring or early Summer members start actually hand quilting at the Garland Harley-Davidson® shop. Every Saturday they meet, welcoming anyone who wants to participate. It's a labor of love that takes several months.
In the past five years, DHOG has entered the quilt in the State Fair of Texas. Four of those years the quilt has won a ribbon. One of those is a 1st place, and the others, including this year's quilt are 3rd place ribbons.
This Year's Quilt
The 2018 quilt has bright blue accents and the thoughtful design quilters put in every year. Here's a photo of it hanging at the State Fair after winning this year's ribbon.
When quilters moved the project from members' homes to the Garland dealership, they started a tradition of asking the dealership owner to put in the last stitch for each quilt. Here's owner Paul Langford putting the finishing touches on this one.
Your Chance to Win a Masterpiece
You may not have the time off to ride across the nation gathering bandanas. Or you might not have the talent of a master quilter. However, you can still have a chance to own this quilt. Buy a raffle ticket for a single dollar and at the end of the MotorCops for Kids Toy ride event administrators will choose a winner. Even if you can't make the ride that day, you can still win the quilt. People buy raffle tickets from all over the world. All quilt materials are donated, so 100 percent of the proceeds go to MotorCops for Kids.
Some past winners hang their quilt as a wall covering, some put it on their beds. Others keep their quilt as a one-of-a-kind collectible. Each one is large enough to cover a King sized bed. Purchase your ticket at the dealership or give us a call to find about buying your ticket by mail.
Harley-Davidson® established the Harley® Owner's Group (HOG) in 1983 because riders wanted a more organized way to get together. Today it has nearly a million members. The Dallas Texas H.O.G Chapter formed in 1986 and is one of the oldest in the nation. The chapter has 800 members and counting.
Some of the founding members still join the group's three rides per week and major events a few times a year. DHOG holds its chapter meetings the first Saturday following the first Wednesday of each month at the Dallas Harley-Davidson® dealership in Garland. For questions about membership, contact them on their website or see us at Dallas Harley-Davidson®.