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A.B.A.T.E. of PA Hosts the 25th Annual Leadership and Legislative Seminar

Grantville, PA -The Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) hosted its annual Leadership and Legislative Seminar on January 22, 23, 2010 in Grantville, PA. The sold out event attracted 400 motorcyclists from Pennsylvania and the surrounding states, all with a common interest - Motorcyclists Rights.

Attending the seminar were representatives from the American Motorcyclists Association (AMA), the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and PA's Motorcycle Safety Program. Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation updated the attendees on the ongoing legislative agenda in Washington, DC. The American Motorcyclists Association participants included Imre Szauter of the Government Relations Department and Sheila Andrews of the Washington, DC office.

The L & L Seminar has been an effective way for ABATE of PA to prepare its members and officers to properly represent the organization, and update the members on current legislation affecting motorcyclists. It's a way to insure, as lobbyists, bikers are familiar with the details of proposed legislation and issues, and have the knowledge to support or oppose it. It's also the way ABATE trains the chapter officers, and future officers, to manage chapter business.

To address the motorcycle issues in Pennsylvania, ABATE hosted a panel discussion with members of PennDOT, the PA State Police, Senator John Wozniak, State Representatives Mark Keller, Dan Moul and Frank Burns, and representatives from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and the American Motorcyclists Association.

Among the many interactive training workshops offered at the seminar were sessions addressing motorcycle safety, motorcycle sound management, issues at the state and federal level, public relations, and communications. The focus was on current and proposed legislative issues, and how to manage ABATE as a successful organization to deal with the legislation.

The highlight of the weekend was the Awards Banquet. Speaking at the dinner was Richard Paukner from the Connecticut Motorcycle Riders Association. Paukner has been the legislative committee person since 1985, working tirelessly for Connecticut motorcyclists.

Highlighting the Awards Banquet was the presentation of the prestigious Ed Fruecht, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Ed was a well known motorcyclist and senior member of the ABATE of PA Board of Directors who suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle collision on May 2, 1998 while on his way to Harrisburg to attend the annual Rights Rally. Ed was an MSF certified motorcycle safety instructor, an active member of the Harley Owners Group, member of the American Motorcyclists Association and Motorcycle Riders Foundation and a supporter and fundraiser for the Shriners Children's Hospital. This year, the award was proudly presented to Sharon Joyce from the Liberty Riders Chapter for her tireless efforts and contributions to the motorcycling community.

Other awards that were presented include:

Presidents Award - Delaware Valley Chapter

Freedom Fighter Award - Imre Szauter

Leadership Award - Dave Lucchesi of Mon Valley Chapter, Ed Wilson of Highlanders and JK Smith of the Indiana County Chapter

Safety and Awareness Award - Stanley Oakes, Somerset County Chapter

Golden Quill Award - Steve Zurl, Chester County Chapter

Distinguished Service Award - Gerald Garbutt, Fayette County Chapter and Marcie Dailey of the Erie County Chapter

Humanitarian Award - Lehigh Valley Chapter and the Keystone Chapter

Dealer Awards to Brian's Harley Davidson and Barb's Harley Davidson

BikePAC Appreciation Award - Paul Hundertmark of the Blue Mt Chapter

By the end of the L & L Seminar approximately $38,000 was raised for BikePAC, the political action committee for PA motorcyclists. Thanks to the generous contributors of auction items. Since its inception in 1986, BikePAC has contributed to biker-friendly candidates for the State Senate and the House of Representatives.

Carol "Popcorn" Umbenhauer
ABATE of Pennsylvania
PO Box 15226
Harrisburg, PA 17105-5226

Important Dates:
February 13 - State Pool Tournament
March 20 - ABATE of PA Board Meeting
May 22 & 23 - Freedom Weekend
May 24 - ABATE of PA Rights Rally
June 18-20 - 33rd Annual State Party at Hazen

A.B.A.T.E. is the "Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education". It is an organization of motorcyclists dedicated to the protection of the individual rights of motorcyclists through political change, public education, and charitable works. ABATE is active in the elimination of unfair legislation as it concerns motorcyclists; promoting motorcycle safety through both motorist and rider education; and improving the image of motorcyclists to the general public.

ABATE's goal and purpose is to keep motorcyclists, members, and the public informed, to promote safe riding habits, and to encourage favorable legislation for motorcyclists. This is accomplished through a monthly newsletter, e-mail alerts, safety & education programs, working with the state and federal legislators, and voter registration promotion.

Since 1983, A.B.A.T.E. has represented the interests of motorcyclists riding Pennsylvania's roads. Through a variety of programs, A.B.A.T.E. is working to protect and preserve the rights of over 800,000 licensed motorcyclists.

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Updated: 5/7/09 12:00 AM