ABATE OF PENNSYLVANIA HOSTS 35th ANNUAL LEADERSHIP AND LEGISLATIVE SEMINAR
Harrisburg, PA – The Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE of PA) hosted its annual Leadership and Legislative Seminar on January 24, 25, 2020 at the Red Lion Hotel in Harrisburg, PA. The event attracted a crowd of 310 politically active motorcyclists from Pennsylvania and surrounding states, in a tradition of successful meetings and fundraising for BikePAC, the motorcyclist political action committee.
Opening this year’s meeting was a general session at which time our new lobbyists were introduced. ABATE is now represented by Wojdak Associates and in attendance was Steve Crawford, President, Mark Richards, Senior Associate and Wendy Hoover, Associate. Also in attendance was state coordinator Tom Bogacki, State Legislative Coordinator, John Kruger and retiring ABATE Lobbyist, Charles Umbenhauer.
To address motorcycling issues in Pennsylvania ABATE hosted a panel discussion with experts from various backgrounds relevant to motorcycling. Current topics of recent interest ranged from the motorcycle lemon law, Representative Mark Keller’s bill HB 634 to make riding in processions safer for all involved. In addition there was a discussion on the PA Motorcycle Safety Program. Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) was on site and the panel discussion was aired live from 6:30 – 8:30 PM and replayed several more times over the weekend.
Participating on the panel were Representative Dawn Keefer, Representative Mark Keller, Jay Jackson, Motorcycle Riders Foundation Vice President, Mike Sayre, American Motorcyclist Association, Dean Hooper, PSP-HEMC, Colleen Anderson PennDOT, Bobby Fitsmyer, from the PA Motorcycle Safety Program, Marlene Wilson, Esquire, Mark Richards, Wojdak Associates, Tom Bogacki, State Coordinator, ABATE of PA. The panel was moderated by Charles Umbenhauer. Representative Mark Keller was presented with a super sized gavel for his years of supporting the motorcycling community. The Representative will be retiring at the end of this session.
Following the panel discussion BikePAC held a reception with the panel participants as our special guests. Entertainment was provided by Sasparilla, followed by a corn hole tournament.
On Saturday there were several workshops dealing with legislative issues, the PA Motorcycle Safety Program, Insurance for your motorcycle, OSAL and Leadership to name a few.
The focal point of the weekend was the awards banquet, which included the presentation of the prestigious Ed Fruecht Jr Lifetime Achievement Award. This year the award was presented to Charlie and Barb Smith of Blair County for their 18 years of organizing the auction for BikePAC. The dinner speaker was Rob Dingman, President and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association. Rob spoke about the longtime relationship between the AMA and the ABATE of PA organization.
Other ABATE members who were presented with awards are as follows: Presidents Award – Scott Minich, Clarion County Chapter, Freedom Fighter Award was presented to Representative Josh Kail. Leadership Award was presented to Tom Detrick, Keystone Chapter, Dave Brewster, Gods Country Chapter, Safety and Awareness award went to Adam Gill, Blue Mt Chapter and Golden Quill was presented to Sonja Mauk of the Mason Dixon Chapter. Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Phil Sciarra, Philadelphia Chapter, Bob Watkins, North Pittsburgh Chapter and Dave and Paula Berrier, Patriot Riders Chapter. And finally the Humanitarian Award went to Drew Harmon of the Lancaster County Chapter. This year we presented a contributing organization award to the American Motorcyclist Association and was accepted by Rob Dingman, President/CEO of the AMA. Retiring lobbyist, Charles Umbenhauer was presented a special Senate Citation congratulating him on his twenty years as lobbyist for ABATE of PA. John Kruger presented it on behalf of Senator Christine Tartaglione.
By the conclusion of the L & L Seminar over $26,000 was raised for BikePAC. Since its inception in 1986, the political action committee has endorsed biker friendly candidates for the State Senate and House of Representatives.
ABATE of PA will hold its annual Motorcyclists Rights Rally at the state capitol on Monday, June 1, 2020.
BUSINESS INDIVIDUAL SPONSOR
Freeburn Hamilton Law Firm
BUSINESS INDIVIDUAL SPONSOR
Lenny & Terry Young
God’s Country Chapter
Mason Dixon Chapter
INDIVIDUAL MEMBER SPONSORS
SUPER SUPPORTER $100
Tom and Beverly Bogacki
Dave and Diane Evans
Bob LeGore & Lesli Staley
Derick & Tracy Liddington
Jesse Reed & Denise Russell
Harper and Janine Shoap
Richard Simpson & Debra Overholser
Joe & Paula Smith
Kevin & Peggy Snyder
L & L SUPPORTER $50
Rich & Devin Clements