When Tim Bernard decided to say “Thank You” to U.S. military men and women for service to their country he did it in the way he knows best: giving away a motorcycle. He wanted to make “a real and also symbolic gift,” so with the support of his wife and Happy Trails Products co-founder Sherry Bernard, Tim launched the Give Thanks Project last spring.
From June through August a highly modified Kawasaki KLR650 stood prepped and ready on the showroom floor, while Happy Trails received applications from veterans and active members of the U.S. military. When the contest closed, “Suspense was high”, say Happy Trails’ staffers. Eleven semi-finalists were selected, then five finalists, followed by a five day countdown from fourth runner-up to the grand prize winner.
Tim and Sherry Bernard presented the keys to grand prize winner Master Sergeant Kevin Dixon of Meridian, Idaho, on 11-11-11 at the Happy Trails Event Center. Helping to celebrate the occasion was 580KIDO’s Kevin Miller serving as master of ceremonies.
Kevin’s dream of riding to Alaska is a couple of years closer with the Give Thanks bike now in his garage. “I’m honored and I’m humbled,” he said. He will leave the paint and decal scheme on the Give Thanks bike, as well as adding decals of the official seal for each branch of the military, to remind everyone to give thanks to our military men and women.
Joining Happy Trails in thanks with additional gifts for Kevin, as well as four runners-up, are sponsors Rawhyde Adventures, WPS/FLY Racing, Klim Technical Gear, Progressive Suspension, Ricor Shocks, Woody’s Wheel Works, Dunlop Motorcycle Tires and “Condor 13,″ C Troop 2/17th Air Cavalry, 101st ABN Division, 1969/70.
Happy Trails Products is a Boise, Idaho based manufacturer specializing in the fabrication and sale of aluminum and soft luggage solutions for adventure motorcycles capable of both on and off-road travel. Happy Trails has been in operation since 1987. For more information, visit www.happy-trail.com.