Helping with Horsepower™

Written By Virginia Wishard Lambert

“This year’s project is very special,” Laura Klock, founder of Helping with Horsepower™, said. “Many of the girls have never worked on a motorcycle, and this year’s motorcycle is a special model – a 2015 Indian Scout. Since this is a newer model, the team learned some things together.”

The 2015 Scout was graciously provided by Indian Motorcycle. Pam Kermisch of Polaris Industries, Inc. said, “Indian Motorcycle is proud to support Helping with Horsepower™. We are excited to see the transformation of the Indian Scout and hear the stories about how the experience helped the young women involved.”

And there are definitely stories to tell. The Indian Scout had some cosmetic damage, but overall was in decent condition. “The girls learned that you can look “good” on the outside and still be suffering on the inside,” Klock said. “To really look great and feel great, takes work – personal work for people and mechanical work for motorcycles.”

True to the mission of Abbott House, the intent of the Bike Rebuild Program is to provide education, empowerment and encouragement for Abbott House girls, who are generally at-risk due to abuse, neglect, self-harm tendencies and/or the inability of their families to support them.

The girls assessed the damage on the bike, stripped it down to its motor and frame and began the rebuild process. That process included a paint design and naming contest. The bike, named “Legacy”, has a patriotic theme. The young lady who submitted the name into the contest said, “I have always wanted to leave a legacy behind, and I was thinking the bike would be a legacy for all of the girls who have been at Abbott House.”

Legacy’s new look includes new handlebars, fenders and a seat along with changes in exhaust and other features. “Every one of these projects mirror the challenges Abbott House girls face as they overcome abuse and neglect and begin to heal and transform,” Eric Klooz, Abbott House Executive Director, said. “The Helping with Horsepower™ Bike Rebuild Programs have had a significant impact on the Abbott House girls and staff. As the girls learn the various types and uses of tools and how to remove motorcycle parts, they also learn life skills, such as perseverance, teamwork, and problem solving. In addition, the financial impact of the motorcycle raffles has been significant.”

Along with Indian Motorcycles sponsorship, Klock Werks is the shop partner this year, with mechanical guidance from Jennifer Bainbridge, class support by Karlee Cobb, and Klock Werks parts featured on the bike. For the second consecutive year, the paint design is provided by Todd Dozark of Liquid Designz, Other sponsors have already joined this year’s program including Kuryakyn, PPG, The Daily Republic, POET Biorefining, Coca-Cola, Great Western Bank, Midco, AMSOIL, and Avera.

In addition to giving the girls practical experience and life skills, Abbott House will benefit from Helping with Horsepower™ through the sale of motorcycle raffle tickets. Tickets are available at the Abbott House, County Fair, County Fair Food and Fuel, and online at www.abbotthouse.org. The drawing will be held December 28th in Mitchell.

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