Sioux Falls Dad Builds Chopper For Charity
by Jennifer Hudspeth
August 29, 2012 9:35 PM
Every parent hopes their child is born healthy, but that’s not always the case. A Sioux Falls father who relied on help from Children’s Miracle Network while his infant daughter was in the hospital, is now on a mission to give back. Zach Lenning is using his love for motorcycles to build a Chopper for a cause, which is why he’s “Someone You Should Know.”
The building blocks of life are precious, that’s something Lenning knows all too well. His world came crashing down when his daughter, Harle, was born with pneumonia.
Zach says, "The first thing that hits your head is...is she going to live or is she going to die, and I even going to get to see her?"
Life got off to a rough start for Harley, she spent several weeks hooked up to tubes and machines in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sanford. Now a playful 2 year old, she's made a full recovery. Along with his daughter's life, Zach says he's also grateful for the help he received during her hospital stay. He’s thankful for extra support that came from Children's Miracle Network, and now Zach's on a mission to give back.
"I was like, what if I just built a bike and I just gave it to them. That way all the proceeds could go to the hospital and that will help,” says Zach.
So he did just that, building a custom made chopper from parts donated by area businesses. The bike is estimated to be worth about 30 thousand dollars. It took 3 months to put together and is being raffled off, with all proceeds going right back to Children's Miracle Network.
Children’s Miracle Network Representative, Andy Kvernmo says, "When we have families and donors like Zach that come back and want to do something like this, if it's an event or building a motorcycle or anything like this, it's truly amazing they actually want to give back."
Harley's handprints line the upper shell, and more details pop out the closer you look. Zach says this won't be the only bike he donates to the charity, he's already working on plans to build another chopper. But, with Harley by his side, he's just glad to make a difference.
Zach says, "Honestly just happy as heck to be a part of what they do, anyway I could possibly help, I'd always be there, I'd never turn my back."
Raffle tickets for the Chopper are $100 a piece and only 1,000 will be sold. You can purchase tickets at these businesses in Sioux Falls: Backyard Motorcycles, Interstate Battery, Hillside Body. You can also contact Children’s Miracle Network.