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Hot Harley Nights reaches major milestone, donating more than $3 million to Make-A-Wish South Dakota


August 16, 2018


Sioux Falls, South Dakot


Three-day summer event is largest state-wide fundraiser for organization

Sioux Falls, South Dakota – With proceeds in from the 23rd annual Hot Harley Nights, the event has surpassed the $3 million mark in funds raised for Make-A-Wish South Dakota since it began in 1996.   The funds stay here in South Dakota to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

“It seems unbelievable to think this summer event that started with about 250 participants and a handful of enthusiastic volunteers has grown to this point,” said Char Roth, Event Chair and Chief Financial Officer with J&L Harley-Davidson.  “It is beyond meaningful to know that our efforts, and those of our sponsors, volunteers and participants have given millions to such a worthy organization in our state.”

The 2018 event featured three days packed with family fun and special events.  The expanded free entertainment featured four live bands, including national headliner, Sawyer Brown.

“The economic impact of Hot Harley Nights is huge.  We welcomed nearly 1,200 registered bikes from 17 states and two Canadian providences for our HHN rides, in addition to hosting thousands of people at our daily activities,” said Roth.  “We are proud to be a family-friendly entertainment option that impacts our community and region in such a major way, all while supporting a great cause.”

While entertainment drives attendance, the real celebrities of Hot Harley Nights are the wish kids, who lead the annual parade, riding in corvettes in front of the bikers and flashing smiles of gratitude to supporters.

“The unqualified success of Hot Harley Nights has allowed us to grant more transformational wishes to children across our state,” said Sue Salter, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Dakota.  “A wish creates an opportunity for hope and the ability to experience life beyond illness.  Our work brings joy and healing to those who receive wishes – and to those who help grant them.  We are incredibly grateful to J&L Harley-Davidson and all those who work so hard to make this summer tradition such a success.”

Next year’s 24th annual Hot Harley Nights will be held July 11-13, 2019 at J&L Harley-Davidson and the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls. 

For more information about Make-A-Wish, visit

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Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child's wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. Make-A-Wish South Dakota granted 72 wishes statewide last fiscal year and has granted more than 1,374 wishes since its founding in 1984.  To qualify for a wish a child must be between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 and facing a critical illness.  There are more than 75 kids in the process of receiving a wish.  For more information about Make-A-Wish South Dakota, visit


Over the past twenty-three years, Hot Harley Nights has become a tradition in Sioux Falls that’s grown to bring thousands of generous people together each year in support of children with critical illnesses. We believe raising awareness and funding for Make-A-Wish South Dakota is definitely a cause worth rallying around.  We have hundreds of volunteers and organizations who sign up to help a year in advance. Many lifelong friendships have been made at Hot Harley Nights™ and many, many wishes have been granted.

As long as there are kids who need wishes, we will all have a reason to ride.

Make-A-Wish® South Dakota
1400 West 17th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 335-8000
Toll Free (800) 640-9198
Make-A-Wish® South Dakota, Black Hills Office
14 Saint Joseph St. Suite 302
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 791-4500
Toll Free (800) 640-9198