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Helping With Horsepower

June 21, 2012, 10:08 PM by Don Jorgensen

Helping With Horsepower
MITCHELL, SD -

Anything can be fixed; cars, motorcycles, even young lives and nowhere do they know that more than at the Abbott House in Mitchell where they're fixing damaged goods one wrench at a time.

Klock Werks of Mitchell builds some of the most beautiful custom made motorcycles around the world. All unique in their own way.  That's why it's enlisted the help of some special builders, teenage girls.

A beat up 2006 Electra Glide Harley Davidson motorcycle is part of an ongoing fundraiser for the Abbott House called Helping with Horsepower.

It started last year and 40 girls are working to customize a damaged bike donated by J & L Harley. It may have seen better days, but then so have the young women fixing it.  

"For us girls at the Abbott House we came here and they took us under their wing and helped us and we are taking the bike under our wing and helping it," 15-year-old Kayla said.

The girls all come from broken homes.  They were either sexually abused or had other emotional problems that couldn't be fixed in the home. So they are now trying to get a new start on life at the Abbott House, a place that provides treatment services to girls between the age of seven and 17.

"They don't judge you, you come here so they can help you," 17-year-old Kayla said.

Rebuilding a motorcycle is one way to help them. 

Laura Klock of Klock Werks is the brains behind the fundraiser.  She's showing these girls more than just how to tear apart a motorcycle and put it back together. She's also showing them she cares.

"It's really important for me that they do know that, I don't know you, I don't know your story, where you came from, but I care about you and so do all of these people who have donated parts, time and money, that they care about you even though they don't know you," Klock said. "If they can walk away with that they might feel like nobody cares in their life, so if we can give that to them, it'll change them."

It's going to take about 14 weeks to totally rebuild the motorcycle and when it's finished it's going to look amazing with its own color and unique design and its own unique name, Mosaic.

The paint job will be a mosaic design with the names of all the girls who worked on the bike intertwined in it.

"It fits because it's like us Abbott House girls we're all here, but we come together as one and that's what mosaic is, it comes together as one and I thought that was really a cool idea," the younger Kayla said.

Most of these girls have never used wrenches before, but are quickly learning.

"I like taking things apart, the thing is putting it back together is a little harder," the older Kayla said.

Their hard work caught the eye of Wind Sisters, a Sioux Falls biker club that enjoys raising money for local charities.  They rode over to watch the girls and offer some advice, not on building a bike, but rather something called the three gears of life.

"The first one is I can be inspired, the second one is I can be an inspiration and third gear is I can be an inspirer, just encourage girls to have an impact on someone else's life by paying it forward, encouraging someone else," Wind Sisters rider Lisa Brouwer said.

Between the bike, encouragement and the Abbott House, they are.

"From this I'm learning I can take something apart completely and rebuild it and become something new," the younger Kayla said.

Which is kind of the nuts and bolts of what the Abbott House has been doing for decades.

The girls built a similar custom bike last year that was raffled off and raised $72,000.  The new bike will be unveiled July 12th and you can begin buying raffle tickets at that time through the Helping with Horsepower web site.

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