Kindred Breed was formed out of a love for family and riding motorcycles.
For three years now, the motorcycle family has sponsored a child. This year during their Kindred Kids run, they’ll be riding for two sick kids.
“Kindred Breed started out with a group of us always getting together going riding,” said John Yankowski, the brother of the group’s founder. “We didn’t want to be a motorcycle club. We wanted to do something more meaningful than just be a motorcycle club. That’s when all of us decided to sponsor a child. Let’s make someone’s life different.”
In their clubhouse in Aurora, pictures of Kindred Kids hang above the bar. When the bikers arrive from as far as Cleveland, they greet each other with hugs and kisses and share a meal.
“All the money we raise goes to the child,” said Yankowski, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident three years ago. “We take care of everything. We’ve taken care of rent, clothes, doctors, medical bills.”
Larry Bennett and Meredith Flaminio of Chagrin Falls have 4-year-old twins. Luke was born with a rare congenital defect, radial dysplasia, also known as club hands. He’s had 18 surgeries so far and has more to come to have fully functioning hands and fingers. His surgeon is in Florida. The money raised will help pay for travel and medical costs.
“They’re the most supportive group of people,” Meredith said. “It’s unbelievable. I don’t know what we would have done without finding them. It’s been tough, but finding them has made it easier.”
Carrie and Matt Kaminski’s 5-year-old son, Calvin, has multiple diagnoses, including semi-lobar holoprosencephaly, a malformation of the brain, and quadriplegia cerebral palsy. Many children with his condition don’t survive beyond birth. Calvin can’t walk, talk or feed himself, but his smile lights up a room.
“I stopped working about a year and a half ago,” Carrie said. “It’s a huge hit on our finances. I still actually don’t know how we do it.”
“Our quality of life is much better. I would be sick to my stomach wondering if he was just sitting at daycare somewhere. I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
Calvin had hip reconstruction surgery in March. Carrie’s best friends were the parents of last year’s Kindred Kid, Chase, who has severe autism.
“We came to meet everyone. My sister was like, ‘they’re like real bikers. Big, burly ones,’” Carrie laughed. “But they do all these things for kids and rescue animals. We did not know of them at all. They’re like these little silent angels.”
Denise “Breezy” Calabrese is one of two female riders in the growing family. She’s always wanted to ride and used to sneak on the back of bikes, she said. In her 50s after her kids were old enough, she borrowed gear from a friend, took a motorcycle class and got her license.
“They’ve all been riding forever, so I’m the newbie,” Breezy said. She never imagined riding could mean being a part of something bigger than herself.
“It’s very rewarding to see the benefits of what we do and I get to see it almost more than these guys because I’m the treasurer. I’m the one that writes the checks for the medical bills or buys the things the kids need. I get to be really close with the parents. I feel like I’ve known Carrie forever.”
Fred Mathis of Streetsboro is the event coordinator. He’s the main organizer of Thunder in the Boro and other motorcycle events and charity runs. An anticipated 300 bikes and families will participate in the 2018 Kindred Run on July 21. It starts at 9 a.m. at Chuggers Bar & Grill in Streetsboro with riders from the east and west side meeting at 5 p.m. at Raxx in Parma. All of the stops are selling sponsor blocks for the Kindred Kids for $1. Anyone is welcome to come meet the families and participate.
Founder Tommy Yankowski was on the brink of suicide when he started Kindred Breed (Family Growing) for his brother. Little did he know, the family would save his life and others.
“I turned my life around,” Yankowski said. “At the worst of times has come the greatest thing that’s ever happened. I look back now and I can’t believe it. You see how much it means to the families.”
To get involved, go to kindredbreed.com or donate at 2018 Kindred Kids on gofundme.com.
Shares of U.S. motorcycle icon Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) have fallen 15.6% in 2018, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, in large part because it’s been a target of tariffs in growing trade wars around the world.
The first thing to note is that Harley-Davidson isn’t exactly performing well as consumer spending shifts away from motorsports. Retail sales volume worldwide was down 7.2% in the first quarter of 2018, and that doesn’t bode well for long-term revenue or profit growth for the company.
Another big impact on Harley-Davidson this year was the announcement that the European Union will increase tariffs on motorcycle imports from 6% to 31%. Obviously, that would increase the cost of bringing Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Europe, a key market for the company, and it wasn’t a cost the company wasn’t willing to pay.
Management announced that it will move some production to Europe and absorb $90 million to $100 million in annual costs to make sure customers in the EU can buy their products.
Harley-Davidson is facing a lot of headwinds at a time when the company should be at peak performance. The economy is doing well, wages are rising, and interest rates are fairly low, but still volumes are down for the business. If Harley-Davidson can’t grow when times are good, it could be in more severe trouble if we hit a recession — and that’s what will keep me out of the stock in 2018.
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