Hawgs for Dogs was started back in 1989, when members of the IAM union were trying to come up with a new idea for fundraising for the Guide Dogs of America. Steve Cohan approached John Massetti, Mike Anderson, and Vince Bazzachini about organizing a motorcycle ride and asked for their help. They said yes, and they approached the International president asking for permission. Although they were hesitant at first to let this happen (because of the sensationalizing that the press has always done regarding motorcycle events), they decided to let the guys try it, and put them on 1 years probation.

Well, the weekend event netted $20,000.00 the first year, and the rest is history! This group has raised over $1.5 million for GDA. This event recently had its 25th annual ride. To put on an event like this takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

The Minnesota Chapter of Guide Dogs of America has a board of directors of 15. These members decide the fate of this chapter, as well as do the footwork necessary to put this all together. There is lots to be done to raise $60,000 to $100,000 dollars in a weekend!

This ride requires committment and planning. Along with the $35.00 registration fee, each rider is required to raise at least $300.00 to participate. The riders each receive a tee shirt, ride pin, dinner, breakfast, and a chance to win a trip for 2 to Las Vegas, as well as many many many door prizes. Many of our riders raise well over $1,000.00 with the recent TOP Dog Fundraiser raising over $5,000.00! The participants raise pledges from family, friends, employers, and businesses.

On a typical ride, we start out early on a Saturday morning, with gas and poker stops, and after the days ride (approximately 200-250 miles) the entire group assembles for a banquet, drinks, raffles, fabulous prizes and an auction. An overnite stay at the resort with a pool and hot tub prepares riders for the trip home on Sunday. In the morning there is a breakfast provided, a tally of how much the ride made and then another 200 mile ride together back home. The comraderie at an event like this is outstanding! It's more of a reunion of old friends that come together to have fun and raise money for such a good cause.

As president of the MN chapter, Steve Cohan is absolutely relentless when it comes to organizing this ride. He will go anywhere and ask anyone for help, donations, door prizes... or anything else he can think of. His attention to detail makes this event run smooth, and everyones efforts to help do not go unnoticed!

There are now over 15 other Hawgs for Dogs (some go by other names like Ride for Guides and Puppy Putt). Steve and his wife Gracie's new project is to go out and help these groups get their rides going as well as reach out to the blind community outside of L.A.

Click the links below for photos of Hawgs for Dogs events:

Hawgs for Dogs, 2014
25th Annual Hawgs for Dogs Ride

Hawgs for Dogs, 2013
24th Annual Hawgs for Dogs Ride

Hawgs for Dogs, 2012
23rd Annual Hawgs for Dogs Ride

Hawgs for Dogs, 2011
22nd Annual Hawgs for Dogs Ride

Hawgs for Dogs, 2010
21st Annual Hawgs for Dogs Ride

Hawgs for Dogs, 2009
20th Annual Hawgs for Dogs Ride







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