October 23, 2013
About 1,000 bikers gathered at the Arena Bar in Benson on Saturday for an annual biker rodeo.
Organized by the Southern Arizona Harley Riders Motorcycle Club out of Sierra Vista, the 19th annual biker rodeo started Friday afternoon, ran all day on Saturday and ended Sunday morning around 10 a.m. Several of the participants then headed to Tombstone for the town's annual Helldorado Days celebration, with some participating in the parade.
"We probably have about 600 bikers here right now, and they'll keep coming in throughout the day," said Donna Walker, a member of the local Harley club who was working the registration booth on Saturday. "This is a family-oriented event where we raise money for a whole list of charitable causes. We give scholarships to high school graduates all over Cochise County, help families in need, we help cancer patients, give money to local food banks, and the list goes on and on."
Larry Martinez, who runs the Benson Community Food Pantry said he and other pantry volunteers help with the rodeo every year out of appreciation for the donations they receive from the motorcycle club.
"The amount they give us depends on how much participation they get at this event," he said. "They've donated as much as $2,000, which we really appreciate."
The rodeo features a number of activities and contests, including a tattoo contest, karaoke, 50/50 drawings, door prizes, scavenger hunts, bike show, hairiest chest contest, kids' events and the rodeo competition, along with live music. The Rowdy Johnson Band kicked off the entertainment Friday evening.
This marked the third year Jeramey and Roxanna Ireland of Sierra Vista had attended the event. "We have a great time watching the guys competing out in the arena," Jeramey said. "This is a fun, charitable fundraiser that we both look forward to every year."
Busy shining her Harley for the bike show, Benson resident Catherine Willis said she has been attending since 1996, but does not participate in the rodeo portion. "My bike is too nice for that," she smiled. "People come from all over for this; we meet a lot of really great people here every year," she added.
Early Saturday afternoon event director Suzi Brackhahn said she expected at least 1,000 bikers at the Arena Bar through the weekend. "We've had as many as 1,500 in past years, but it varies, depending on a number of things," she said. "I'm happy with the attendance so far and they just keep coming in. We always have great vendor turnout for this and the kids' games get a lot of support. It's a fun time for everyone and the money we raise is for a good cause."
By Joey Hancock
SIERRA VISTA - Red Hartman was shocked to walk into JR's Lounge and spirits earlier this week to find "Birthday" by The Beatles blasting and more than 100 of his friends there shouting "Surprise!" Hartman, founder of Hartman's HD, and Southern Arizona Harley Riders Motorcycle Club, turned 90 on Thursday.
The birthday bash was to honor the longtime Sierra Vistan and MC club founder. Everyone in attendance had nothing but good things to say about the man known in some circles as a legend.
Hartman has been in business since 1948 as the first Harley Shop in town.
"Red's been here since Seventh Street was just outside of town. He's seen everything," said son Danny Hartman.
There was no doubt about the amount of respect that filled the room for Hartman.
"We all look up to him, and want to be like him when we get older," said Suzi Q, SAHR treasurer.
Hartman is the father of six children, three boys and three girls.
He and his wife, Florence, founded the "Hog Chapter MC" in 1984 after the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company decided a year earlier to organize Harley enthusiasts into the Harley Owners Group.
After the organization was terminated as a chapter of the HOG organization due to the loss of the supporting dealership, Hartman founded the SAHR in 1992 and was accepted as a chapter of the American Motorcycle Association.
SAHR is very active in the community, having two bike rallies a year to raise money for scholarships, and to help the community.
"Red still goes to all the events," said Suzi Q.
Even at 90 years old, Hartman continues to ride his motorcycle, and has no intention of stopping.
When asked what it feels like to be 90 years old, Hartman said, "It's the same as being 70."
Hartman had no idea of the surprise party. His son set up the arrival.
"I told him we had to go to the shop to pick up some parts, and when we got there it was closed. So I said why don't we just go out to dinner," said Danny Hartman.
Walking in wearing a T-shirt, jeans and orange flamed suspenders, Hartman's big smile and waving arms at the sight of everyone showed his genuine surprise.
"We have bike nights every so often, and this is the first of the year. Red just thought he was coming to a bike night," said Suzi Q.
"I've never been here before, so when I saw all the bikes I thought, Oh S--," Hartman said.
As Hartman walked in, guests gave him hugs and kisses as he was being adorned with glow stick necklaces and a top hat. The party went late into the evening and everyone enjoyed themselves, especially Hartman.
"I've known Red for 20 years, and he's never grown up. He gets sweeter with age," said Kim Perry.
"He's just such a hoot," said Kathleen Miller.
Hartman may be 90, but has no intention of slowing down.
Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:37
By Adam Curtis
The Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Daily Review
SIERRA VISTA - By now, joining together to enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread to help local people in need have the same privilege, has become a familiar activity for many community members each fall.
Now in its fourth year, the local Empty Bowls Project should have about 600 locally made bowls by the time it kicks off on Saturday and organizers aim to raise $7,000 to help area charities who provide food for locals who cannot afford meals every day. Considering there were only about 280 bowls and $2,200 in donations in its first year, the effort has come a long way to become a staple among community events.
Last year the event grew a lot, not only because people came out to support the event but also due to the fact more area potters and businesses pitched in, said Barry Midgorden, the event coordinator who also runs the city's pottery studio in the Oscar Yrun Community Center. This year 35 area restaurants and food stores will be donating soup and bread, while potters from Sierra Vista and the surrounding communities have produced more bowls for residents to take home than ever before.
"I'm very excited and pleased about the community response," Midgorden said. There is a great group of volunteers who have become very passionate about organizing the event each year, which has practically turned it into a self-sustaining machine.
"They just do it," Midgorden said. The Cochise College ceramics classes are among the artists that contribute bowls every year.
For a suggested donation of $10 visitors to the Ethel Berger Center between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday will not only receive a quality meal but can also select any of the hundreds of one-of-a-kind bowls to take home. The event showcases the work of local potters, while all the donations go to benefit area food banks.
Just like years past the money will help the St. Vincent De Paul food bank, the Salvation Army's food and nutrition program and the Chaplain's Food Locker on Fort Huachuca, Midgorden said. This year they are also including the Benson Area Food Bank and the Tombstone Food Bank.
"It's about our own community coming together and helping those who live here," Midgorden said. In today's economy more people are finding themselves in unfortunate circumstances where they simply do not have enough to eat every day.
A silent auction of special ceramic art will help raise additional funds.
The local event is actually an off-shoot of an international effort that was started in 1990 by a high school art class in Michigan, according to a release from the city. "Today, the Empty Bowls Projects provides support for local events feeding hungry people all over the world."
Locally the effort has become a success thanks to the community-minded efforts of the city, local businesses and area residents. Each year it reminds people of the comfort that a simple hot meal provides and how much that means for those who need it most.
If you go:
The Empty Bowls Project will begin serving soup and bread at 11 a.m. in the Ethel Berger Center on Saturday in observance of World Food Day.
Anyone can receive a meal until 2 p.m. but a $10 donation to benefit local food banks is suggested. Participants will be able to select one of more than 500 hand-made bowls to take home as a reminder that there are always empty bowls in the world.
Live music will be provided throughout the event.
In addition to 35 local restaurants, the following community groups and businesses contributed to the event:
- Huachuca Art Association
- Southern Arizona Harley Riders Motorcycle Club
- Cochise College Ceramics
- Sierra Vista Lions Club
- Banner Printing
Naco Arizona All-Start Girls Softball Team received a $500 donation from SAHR MC in their persuit of the Arizona States Girls Softball Championship.
The 17th Annual Run to the Border sponsored by the club is one of two fundraisers they hold every year. This year the Run was held in Naco, Ariz., on Saturday at the Gay 90's right near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Southern Arizona Harley Riders club
members are proud of the money they raise to help charities throughout the
county. On Saturday, the 17th Annual Run To The Border raised $7,500. Suzi
Brackhahn said 500 riders and family members raised $7,500 that will go to
Habitat For Humanity, Committee for Child Abuse Prevention, food banks,
families in need at Christmas, The Thespians, Girl Scouts and soldiers and
veterans, as well as three scholarships to high school graduates.
And that's only a partial list.
SAHR wasn't the only group fundraising at the event. The Wild West Marine Corps Detachment 1152, an organization of active and former Marines, had been selling poppies and raised $300 to go into the kitty of the national Marine Corps League, which is best known for its Marines Helping Marines Program. The league provides assistance to active-duty Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families as well as those injured in battle.
"We had one person who gave us $50," said member Bill Bouton of Sierra Vista. "These guys are very supportive of the troops."
The 30-member club, with a range of ages from 21 to 85, started the day at 9 a.m. with a "Have A Clue" run. The idea is similar to scavenger hunts. Instead of gathering up items, the riders had to answer questions that pertained to memorabilia hung or displayed on the walls of several taverns - the Hitching Post, The Stock Exchange and Elmo's, to name just a few.
The top three winners were Janet Buchwast, first, $150; Neal Johnson, second, $100; and Bruce Callaghan, third, $75.
Throughout the day and into the night the club also held a silent auction and drawings for prizes donated by various businesses in Sierra Vista and throughout the county.
While the DJ cranked up the sound system, the vendors were just getting ready to pack things up. While some had a rather disappointing day, Pam Kosteba, better known as the Patch Lady, and her husband, Red, known as the "Stitcher," had done well as the SAHR members added patches to their vest and jackets. Every time a rider participates in a club event, a rocker patch is earned. It's called a rocker because it's shaped like the bottom rail of a rocking chair.
"Red sewed on a lot of rockers today. And we do well with the sale of our patches that I design," Pam Kosteba said. "I think a lot of it has to do with people riding motorcycles more due to the gas prices."
The Tucson couple has had to forgo a motorcycle since they can't haul that setup on or behind a bike. Their cargo van takes them to many bike events and shows, so they have developed a name in the business. They have been making patches for SAHR members for the past five years.
Leonel Urcadez, owner of the Gay 90's, said business had been good and appreciated all the work that employee Janet Warner had put into the event.
Red Hartman, the 85-year-old founding father of the club, said he has been riding since 1948 and was celebrating his 60th anniversary as a loyal motorcycle rider, and, yes, he still rides - every day. He has personally owned 25 to 30 bikes since he started riding in 1948. His first bike was a 1938 Indian Ace. On one of his rides it blew a piston and shot it through the engine.
His favorite was a Harley Davidson WR 750 cc flathead.
As he looked over bikes lined up in a row, and particularly a chopper, he joked, "I ride real motorcycles. These are just for show."
HERALD/REVIEW reporter Shar Porier can be reached at 515-4692.
Robert Shattto of Douglas High Shchool (Accepted into
University of Arizona, College of Medicine) -- $1,000
Emilee Stevens of Benson High School (Accepted into Cochise College) -- $500
Anna Schneider of Buena High School (Accepted into Colorado College) -- $500
Edward Jones account for SAHR's perpetual scholarship
fund -- $4,000 of which $2,000 to be held and $2,000 will be paid out to
the 2008 scholarship recipients.
Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse -- $2,500
All the Kings Horses -- $1,000
Thespian Society -- $750
City of Douglas -- $500 (For Park Bench)
Girl Scouts, Sierra Vista troup -- $250
Salvation Army (food donation) -- $250
St. Vincent de Paul (food donation) -- $250
Overseas Military Personnel -- $250
Freedom Camp Social Club of Rodeo, New Mexico -- $200
Bibianna Tovar of Benson High School (Accepted into Cochise College) -- $1,000
Isla Lewis of Tombstone High School (Accepted into Northern Arizona, NAU) -- $500
Dyanna Luevano of Buena High School (???) -- $500
Southern Arizona Harley Riders attended the Benson Town
Hall meeting to voice support in favor of the Benson City Council
recommending the Arena Bar and Grill new owners, Walter Wood and Mr. Tyra
to obtain an interim liquor license and permit for the establishment. We
weren't each expecting to speak, but we did.
The Council heard from many supporters and from the Bar's "agent" (a/k/a attorney), to include all SAHR MC Members present. The club members in attendance where Vice President Allen B, Secretary Suzie Q, Treasurer and Life Member Rose, Life Member Lavon, Life Member and Photographer Debbee, Member Pittsburgh, Prospect Pig. The Arena Bar and Grill has been in existence for 46 years, and is actually a Rodeo Arena where the club holds their Annual Southern Arizona Biker Rodeo. The Biker Rodeo is the largest source of revenue for the City of Bisbee. The Benson City Council voted and gave the approval of the interim liquor license and permit. The Arena Bar and Grill owners will have the City of Benson's recommendation for approval of their license and permit.
SAHR MC had many people approach us individually and thank us for showing up, supporting the cause, and speaking to the Council. Walt Wood, a 30 year friend of Lavon's, was very thankful for our support and graciously invited all of us and his other supporters to the bar for a drink on him. He ended up buying us two rounds.
SAHR MC is off to a great start and a good working relationship with the Arena Bar and Grill for the 14th Annual Southern Arizona Biker Rodeo.
Habitat for Humanity group gets a new home
By Laura Ory Herald/Review
Published on Sunday, October 28, 2007 SIERRA VISTA - After building 15 affordable homes for families in Sierra Vista since 1994, Habitat for Humanity had it's own open house Saturday.
The local affiliate for the nonprofit hosted the dedication of their new office space at Cochise Vista Plaza, 2151 S. Highway 92, Suite 118. Advertisement*
The Southern Arizona Harley Riders donated $1,000 to Habitat for Humanity Saturday which helped to dedicate their newly opened offices. Presenting the check to Habitat for Humanity president, Karl Hallsten, right, is Southern Arizona Harley Riders president, "Smokey." Also representing the motorcycle club is treasurer Debbee Watkins, left, and member Geoff Eastwood. (Mark Levy-Herald/Review) Having a space of their own will hopefully allow the group to gain volunteers and build more homes, said Karl Hallsten, president.
The organization has nine directors on it's board and at least more are needed. Two houses are under construction and are expected to be done by Thanksgiving.
Habitat for Humanity has been housed in a church and used members homes for activities but now they have a place of their own, said Evetta Jones, secretary.
With a central location for records Habitat can be much more efficient than ever before, Jones said. The new office will also give the organization a greater presence in the community, said Ray Buchard, the construction committee chair.
The office received a surprise visit from members of the Southern Arizona Harley Riders. The riders came with a $1,000 donation.
"We're challenging every other club to match it," said the president of the group, who goes by "Smokey."
The riders give about $30,000 a year to local charities, from children's activities to care for the elderly and the cause of Habitat for Humanity was one they wanted to support.
Suzi Brackhahn, a member of the riders, said she understands the needs that families face and appreciates what Habitat does.
For each home built Habitat for Humanity must raise about $55,000 or more, Hallsten said. To raise funds for the upcoming year, they will have a spaghetti dinner at Landmark Cafe Nov. 5, are selling tickets for the Festival of Giving at The Mall at Sierra Vista and gift wrapping at there after Thanksgiving.
Starting this week, the new office hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, call 378-6966.
The Southern Arizona Harley Riders donated $1,000 to Habitat for Humanity Saturday which helped to dedicate their newly opened offices. Presenting the check to Habitat for Humanity president, Karl Hallsten, right, is Southern Arizona Harley Riders president, "Smokey." Also representing the motorcycle club is treasurer Debbee Watkins, left, and member Geoff Eastwood. (Mark Levy-Herald/Review).
Herald/Review reporter Laura Ory can be reached at 515-4683.
Southern Arizona Harley Riders, SAHR, contributes by assisting in lifting the local communities Holiday Spirit by donating of $250 worth of non-perishable food items (rice, bean, spaghetti and sauce, ramon noodles, canned fruit, some individually wrapped holiday cakes, etc.) to the Salvation Army. Captain Karen of the Salvation Army was delighted to accept the donations. Earlier this week a donation of $250 worth or non-perishable food items was donated to Saint Vincent de Paul. Stan the Food Bank Coordinator accepted the donation and gave us tour of the facilities. Thank you Stan! Saint Vincent du Paul really needs help, especially through the months of September through March. They are one out of 170 locations in the Nation, participating in the Back Packs program. The Back Packs program consists of back packs with enough food in them to feed a family of four for the weekend. They are given out every Friday to needy families. Monetary donations are preferred due to the discount on food Saint Vincent du Paul receives. Toys were donated to the Sierra Vista Fire Department and Huachuca City Fire Department. May your Holiday Season be a blessed joyful one!
Some of SAHR Members unloading the donations to the Salvation Army.
Captain Karen of the Salvation Army receives donation from Southern Arizona Harley Riders.
Captain Karen from the Salvation Army, some little helpers...Thank you! and SAHR.