Missouri man wins Crazy Horse customer chopper
CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL – A Pineville, Mo., man is the winner of the $32,000 custom Crazy Horse Memorial motorcycle, a chopper nicknamed “Commitment.”
Bryan Crabtree purchased the ticket – No. 01230 – in mid-June. Efforts to contact him during and after the Monday Labor Day raffle drawing ceremony were not successful. Rules do not require that the winner attend the drawing.
Memorial president and chief executive Ruth Ziolkowski and foundation director Bill Turner of Naples, Fla., drew the winning ticket before a crowd of about 100 wishful onlookers. They gathered around the bike in the Memorial’s visitor Welcome Center where it has been displayed under spotlights for the past year and will remain until collected by the winner. Crabtree has 30 days to claim his prize.
“Commitment” is the creation and gift of Eric Gorges, the founder and owner of Voodoo Choppers in Clinton Township, Michigan. Inspired during a 2008 visit to the Memorial, he melded metal and mechanics into an artful, aerodynamic masterpiece that he said honors the grit and determination of the Memorial’s founding sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski.
This was the sixth annual motorcycle raffle drawing fundraiser for Crazy Horse. Memorial officials said the year-long drawing promotion sold just over 2,500 tickets and generated slightly over $44,000. The total proceeds are matched by the T. Denny Sanford Foundation in the ongoing challenge to help fund the progress on the mountain carving.
The bike drawing was the first of two scheduled holiday highlights at Crazy Horse. If weather permitted, the day was to culminate in the ceremonial Sept. 6 night blast that remembered Korczak, who was born 102 years ago in 1908, and Lakota war leader Crazy Horse, who died on the same date in 1877.
Regional residents are admitted free to the Memorial over the traditional four-day Labor Day holiday observance in exchange for food and cash donations to the KOTA Care and Share Food Drive. Ruth Ziolkowski said her husband considered the open houses over Labor Day and Memorial Day as important gestures.
“Korczak always said, ‘first, you make a friend,’ and we hope that the open house allows our many friends who have worked hard all summer to come see our progress and to enjoy time here with their family,” she said.
Feeding South Dakota officials at the Rapid City food bank will report the tally on the Memorial’s overall holiday collection later this week.