Harley-Davidson donates $5,000 to DHS all-weather track project | RecordCourier.com

Harley-Davidson donates $5,000 to DHS all-weather track project

by Chuck Smock

Harley-Davidson Financial Services, based in Carson City, has made a $5,000 donation to the all-weather track and field project at Douglas High School.

Marisa Whitesides, director of corporate compliance for Harley-Davidson Financial Services, announced the donation Tuesday.

“The company as a whole believes in giving back to the community where our employees live and work,” Whitesides said. “We look at each potential project to see if it’s going to make a meaningful difference. We really think this is a positive, healthy project for all the people in the community.

“We really hope our donation will inspire other businesses to do their part. If everyone does their part, it will make this track a reality sooner, rather than later.”

Douglas High track coach Keith Cole was elated by the news of the donation, which pushed the total in the all-weather track fund to more than $65,000.

Cole estimates he’ll need to raise as much as $400,000 to replace the current dirt running surface at the high school with an all-weather track and field facility.

“This is awesome. It’s a real shot in the arm,” he said. “I’m just so excited that Harley-Davidson is willing to donate this amount to our track project.

“This is a Carson City company that gave us $5,000. I would be very excited if we could find some companies in the Valley that would be willing to match the donation. Obviously, that would go a long way toward getting the track built.”

Three months ago, Nat Franklin, an assistant director in Harley-Davidson’s retail unit, brought the proposal for a donation to the all-weather track project to the attention of the committee that considers each request. Franklin’s wife, Julie, teaches at DHS.

Whitesides, whose daughter Monica Buccambuso runs track and cross country at Douglas, was already aware of the need for a modern track and field facility at the high school.

“We decided it (the donation) would fit the criteria of making a meaningful difference in the community,” Whitesides said. “And we think it’s a great thing to do as a corporate citizen.”

As soon as the current cross country season ends with the State meet on Nov. 3, Cole plans to turn up the intensity on his fund-raising efforts.

He has a presentation ready to show area businesses his vision for the project.

“We will be happy to discuss it with any company or organization that would like to hear what we have to say,” Cole said.

In other fund-raising news, on Friday at the DHS football games, artist Robert Winter sold more than 100 $1 raffle tickets for the framed, original oil painting he has donated to the all-weather track project.

Winter sold the tickets himself, despite the fact that it meant he had to miss most of the junior varsity game in which his son, Mark, was playing.

“I really appreciate what Mr. Winter is doing,” coach Cole said. “It’s such a unique gift. It’s a very nice, generous donation. He really believes in the project and it’s a wonderful gesture on his part.

“It’s awesome to see the kind of support we’re getting from the community.”

Winter’s painting will be on display and raffle tickets will be available Friday night at Keith Roman Field when the Tigers play host to the Reno Huskies. Winter and Cole are both hoping to get a big boost in ticket sales from the large Homecoming crowd.

Raffle tickets currently are available at Lone Tree Frame and Gallery, 1598 Esmeralda Ave., in Minden. The painting, which has an estimated retail value of $1,000, will be on display in the gallery when it’s not at school events, such as football games and basketball games.

Harley-Davidson Financial Services provides expert financial services for the Harley-Davidson family and other select affinity markets.