Sturgis tries to make up for lost revenue for charities

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 5:13 PM CDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA) - The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has long brought in money for local charity organizations in the Sturgis area, but since a 2019 court case, the money has been a lot harder to get.

It started with the Sturgis logo created by local artist Tom Monahan. He gave it to the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce to market the rally and raise money for local charity organizations in the city and County.

Marcia Johnston, president of the Sturgis Rally Charities Foundation, said that the city, and later Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc., would raise up to $100,000 for charity each year.

“It’s wonderful to see all these people who love to call this their vacation.,” Johnston said. “What better way to show an appreciation towards out town in being able to buy something that’s going to benefit the residents.”

Johnston said that just under a million dollars have been raised in total for local organizations over the years.

However, that revenue has since shortened since SMRi lost its licensing rights to trademark the rally in a court battle.

This means the charity’s foundation is bringing in only a small percentage of what they used to make yearly.

In an effort to make up the difference, the city is selling open container cups, a new addition to the 2021 rally.

“The city is trying really hard and doing the best that they can to help us recover two-thirds or more of that money that we lost when SMRi lost the fight.”

Wrist bands and cups for open containers are $10 each.

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