About Us

Founding Board

Kevin and Audra, Craig and Michelle. Two brothers and their wives. Two ride and two don’t. All four solid Wisconsinites. Parents to a collective mass of five amazing people. One lawyer, one nurse, one government employee, one communications specialist. Not one of us served, but all are grateful to those who have protected our freedoms, and continue to do so, on our behalf.

Looking to combine two long time passions of Veteran support and motorcycle riding, Kevin had been looking for a way to make a large, impactful difference in a small number of lives rather than a slight difference across many. In the fall of 2014, he read an article on the therapeutic benefits of motorcycle ownership amongst Veterans with PTSD, particularly when faced with different challenges upon returning to civilian life.  Choosing to specifically focus on Wisconsin Veterans, Kevin’s vision came to life and Hogs for Heroes was born.

Working in conjunction with everyday citizens, businesses and other veteran’s organizations, we have already seen tremendous results for Wisconsin Veterans. Hogs for Heroes is truly a grassroots effort, impacting the lives of our veterans and those that support them. Please join us on our journey as we continue to positively impact the life of another deserving Veteran rider.

Our Advisory Board

Enlisting volunteer members of our community, an Advisory Board collaborates with and provides direction to our Founding Board in three primary areas:

  1. Participate in decision making as it pertains to the selection of a Veteran candidate in the gifting process.
  2. Advise on any operational or strategic matters brought to them by the Founding Board.
  3. Serve as community liaisons, fundraising advocates and organizational ambassadors for Hogs For Heroes throughout the state of Wisconsin.
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Latest News

Hogs For Heroes started in the spring of 2015 with the goal of giving one bike a year. Right on plan, we gifted our first bike in May of 2016…and with the close of the 2018 riding season, this small family nonprofit put a total of EIGHT injured Wisconsin Veteran riders back on the road. We work year round to raise funds for bikes and anticipate gifting three Harleys in 2019.  Stay tuned! Follow Us & Share Us on Facebook and Twitter—this is where we share the majority of our announcements and communications. The more others know about what we’re doing, the faster we can make our vision a reality for another injured Veteran rider.

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BREAKING NEWS: Army Veteran Jason Sokel of Menasha, Wisconsin was selected to receive our second gift of a Harley-Davidson and the healing benefits of wind therapy!  This is #9…and counting, in just 3 years!  Jason last rode a Sportster four years ago…and picked out a two-tone red 2019 Road King to help him regain the healing power of motorcycling in his fractured life.  Learn Jason’s story here. 

And get this spin on things… the Hogs For Heroes team was SHOCKED to walk into Appleton Harley-Davidson and have their staff recognize our mugs! The overwhelming support and enthusiasm didn’t stop there— the entire AHD team embraced our mission, super-stretched our dollars to make our Veteran’s dream come true and offered to throw the gifting event to help us fundraise for the next bike and Veteran pairing!

JOIN US! Jason’s Gifting Celebration will be on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Appleton Harley-Davidson in Appleton WI from 11-1. The Presentation of Keys Ceremony will begin at 11:30. Come hang and grab a lunch as AHD serves out of The Shed (their replica of the 1903 Harley-Davidson factory!)…with lunch proceeds going straight to Hogs For Heroes! Two wheels or four, rain or shine, it doesn’t matter— we’d love to have your join us as we change the life of another Veteran rider and honor the gratitude we have for all Veterans. See details for Jason’s gifting event here. 

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REMINDER: Our last application period of 2019 is OPEN! We are accepting applications from May 18, 2019 through June 29, 2019. Instructions and application materials can be obtained from our website’s “Application & Selection” page— be sure to click on the expansion arrow to find them.

Can you share this news with someone who might benefit?   Click here to print off a PDF flier to post or email.  

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NEWS: Marine Veteran Robert Thiede of Fond du Lac, WI was selected as our first recipient of a Harley-Davidson in 2019. Rob is our EIGHTH Veteran to return to the road and gain the healing benefits of motorcycling in exactly three years! Many thanks to our friends at Open Road Harley-Davidson in Fond du Lac for their amazing generosity and endearing support of our mission. Learn Rob’s story here.

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HEARTWARMING NEWS—PAYING IT FORWARD: The very night that Rob Thiede received the keys to his sweet 2017 Road Glide Special from us, he met another Veteran Brother who was struggling and, unable to afford a motorcycle, was missing the freedom, peace and brotherhood that being on the road once provided him. Only 4 hours after meeting him, Rob handed his new friend the keys to his 33 year-old bike–duct tape, zip ties, broken parts and all— so that he could find a little bit of the wind therapy he desperately needed. That there kind of love and support…that is why we do what we do at Hogs For Heroes.

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AGAIN IN 2019: Submit your qualified application once and have it considered, alongside new applicants, for every gifting opportunity occurring in that calendar year.

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COOL NEWS: Vietnam Veteran, Marine John Giese of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, was our last 2018 Veteran to receive a Harley-Davidson and return to the road. This spring the 70 year-old Purple Heart recipient rode 2000 miles with his Purple Heart Riders brothers to Branson, Missouri for their national convention. And this May, he’ll put on another 2000+ miles with his Brothers to attend the last Rolling Thunder gathering in Washington D.C. While there, this Vietnam Vet will honor his fallen comrades, our POWs and MIAs, and all who have served. THAT is simply spectacular…and one more example of the many healing opportunities our gift provides. Learn John’s story here.

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SHOUTOUT: The first bike gifted from Hogs for Heroes in 2019 was made possible because of the fundraising efforts of the Purple Heart Riders of Wisconsin, who tirelessly worked to raise $20,000 in the last 1.5 years.  The Purple Heart Riders of Wisconsin are a motorcycle association comprised of  Veteran Riders who received a Purple Heart in service to our country. Thank you PHR-WI and the many generous donors who shared with them. We are deeply honored by your support.

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WEDNESDAY BIKE NIGHTS ARE BACK IN MADISON! Point Burger Bar (the old Quaker Steak and Lube) is working hard to give area riders a place to hang again. We are honored to have their support and be the beneficiaries of their charitable VIP parking and booth placement. Come hang with friends old and new on Wednesdays, May 1 through August 28. Click here to check out this list of awesome bands that will be rocking the lot from 6-930!

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SAVE THE DATES FOR THESE FUN RIDES! Mark your calendar for fundraising rides benefitting Hogs for Heroes in 2019, including:

 

Ways to Get Involved

Donate…

It is our mission to gift a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for a deserving Wisconsin hero. We are humbled by the donations of our supporters; your generosity makes this vision a reality. You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Help Raise Money on Your Own…

Because we are a small grassroots organization, we depend on our supporters to spread the word to raise awareness and funds. Consider hosting a third-party event and share your proceeds with Hogs for Heroes.  In the past year, the amount of third-party fundraising events has been incredible, with businesses, clubs and veteran’s groups sending us donations from sponsored rides, golf outings and events. The list of ideas can be just as creative as you wish: club cook-outs, motorcycle rides, garage sales, golf outings, chili cook-offs, bowling events, bake sales, car washes, brat stands, cafeteria change collections, restaurant dining for causes…The list goes on.  We’d love to post your group’s efforts on our site to help promote the event and your business.

Spread the Word…

Like us, tweet us, post us, copy us, forward us, link us, blast us and just plain talk us up…the more others know what we are doing, the faster we can make the vision happen for our Veterans.

Display Our Brochures…

Have a business that is likely to interact with Veterans, loyal Americans or motorcycle enthusiasts? We would be happy to send you some brochures to display.

Make an In-Kind Donation…

Goods and services allow us to greatly enhance our fundraising and/or advertising possibilities and reduce our operational costs. Large items for raffles, food or drinks for events, printing services or event hosting capabilities—- the list goes on for us and gives you a great tax break along with a marketing presence.

Volunteer Your Time…

It’s hard for us to get around the entire state, that’s where social media and the generosity of others comes into play. Consider sharing your talents, manning a booth, talking to your local community groups, or reaching out to those who may be interested on our behalf.

Invite Us In…

Have a community event or festival coming up that you think would embrace our mission? Have a business, employer or a club that is looking for their next benefactor? Consider inviting us in and providing us with a little space and time on your agenda.

Have Another Idea?

Just contact us – we’d love to hear from you and help make your plan happen!

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Application & Selection Process

Once we have raised sufficient funds to purchase a Harley-Davidson, we open up our application process.  Only during that time,  Wisconsin military Veterans can nominate themselves, or be nominated by someone well known to them.  Selecting one Hero is the most difficult part of the work we do; and yet, the most exciting and rewarding. Using an application process and an Advisory Board of informed and involved community members, we will select one applicant who meets the following criteria:

Each time we are ready to accept completed applications, the below links will be active and provide you further detail as well as the ability to print off, complete and mail in all the required components. We will use every means at our disposal to “blast out” the good news of our open application period and give you a specific time frame in which to share the opportunity with a qualified candidate and/or complete the process.

Our Advisory Board will meet to review all applications received and postmarked by the deadline date. They will then select one Hero to receive a Harley-Davidson.  We will notify our candidate and work with a local dealership to select the motorcycle best suited for our Veteran’s needs.  We will gift our motorcycle as a symbol of gratitude from the many who contributed at a public event.  Just as we did for the open application process, we will notify our supporters of the gifting celebration so that all may honor our Veteran Hero.

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