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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Heroes of the Week: BUILD Moto Mentor Program Volunteers

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Founded in 2011 by Tim Dixon, owner of The Iron Horse Hotel, the BUILD Moto Mentor Program addresses the lack of skilled trades curriculum in area high schools. Dixon saw an exciting opportunity to expose youth to the trades and created BUILD, an after-school program offering high school students the opportunity to learn vintage motorcycle restoration. Volunteers, mentors and faculty advisors work directly with the students to help them learn the art of restoring a “barn-condition” motorcycle on a $2,000 budget in 100 days to meet American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) standards while teaching them important technical, business and interpersonal skills.

“We are lucky to have an amazing team of volunteers that dedicate an enormous amount of time to this program,” says Nan Teske, program manager of BUILD. “The mentors and faculty advisors work one on one with the students weekly, acting as coaches, team leaders and role models, encouraging the students to plan, design and execute the entire restoration on their own.”

The restored motorcycles will be unveiled and judged at the BUILD Opening Bike Night at The Iron Horse Hotel on May 30. Awards will be given out, including the Fastest Bike (run on a chassis dynamometer), Best Art Bike (on-site crowd voting) and Facebook Favorite (social media-driven voting). Each of the team’s mentors will race the bikes at Elkhart Lake’s Road America on June 8 and 9 and at Grattan Raceway in Grattan, Mich., June 15 and 16. They will also be on display at Discovery World during the month of July and at Rockerbox on Aug. 3.

Donations and sponsors for BUILD are needed at this time. In addition, youth participants (no experience needed), volunteers and mentors are being sought for next season. For more information, email Teske at nanteske@mac.com. Visit facebook.com/Buildmoto to follow this year’s progress and vote for your favorite bike.