MeatPalooza Raises Funds for Central Missouri Honor Flight

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COLUMBIA - Mid America Harley-Davidson brought together pork steaks, motorcycles and the Central Missouri Honor Flight on Sunday for MeatPalooza.

While the name seems like just a meat festival, MeatPalooza is a fundraiser and community event for motorcycle lovers to meet up, ride together, eat a variety of meats and support Honor Flight.

“It brings a lot of people into the dealership that we probably normally wouldn’t see here,” Ron Schieferdecker, sales manager of Mid America Harley-Davidson said. “It gives us a chance to meet some new folks.” 

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, and people can buy $5 wristbands to get full access to meat samples from MO Pork Association, Como Smoke & Fire, and Bourbon BBQ. There will also be a pork steak cook-off and drawing to win a motorcycle. 

Mid America Harley-Davidson hosts MeatPalooza and several other charity events each year. Roughly 75% of money raised for charity at these events goes to Honor Flight.

“They (veterans) are a big supporter of ours, and the only way we can do what we can in our country is because of those folks,” Schieferdecker said. “So we try to support them in every way we can.”  

Although MeatPalooza is expected to bring nearly 200 hundred people to the dealership, Saturdays and Sundays are never dull according to active-military member and motorcyclist Chris Ash. 

Almost every Saturday, Ash is at the dealership to ride bikes and enjoy the close-knit biking community in Columbia. 

 “It’s kind of like a hub for people to ride motorcycles,” Ash said. “If you don’t have anything going on, you come to Harley and see what’s happening.”

Ash is  part of a motorcycle group that escorts veterans back home to Columbia after going on their Honor Flight. So MeatPalooza holds a special place in Ash’s heart. 

“The thing I’m most excited about is one: coming together as a community,” Ash said. “But then also raising money for such a great cause. The longer we can keep supporting this and the more veterans we can do in years to come—it’s all the better.”

MeatPalooza followed Saturday's 2019 Harley-Davidson Model Reveal at the dealership.