Area businesses appreciate the 20,000 person rise in population in Sturgis for a week. Non-profits also look at the influx of people as an opportunity to serve the public, such as local EMT's and fire departments.
"From working here at the rally with us they were able to buy a new piece of equipment that can take them back in the woods in case there in an event we have a fire. Which they didn't have anyway to get back there," said Thomas.
Although bikers carry the stigma of being big, hairy, covered in leather, and not too friendly. Thomas says there are a few that use the Sturgis Bike Rally for a bigger cause. "They're the most giving and caring people. They will do anything for you."
"People look at bikers like they're a bunch of misfits or something. Actually we got shirts made up that say "Jesus Love White Trash Too" because he does." Deacon Lingerfelt is a pastor at the Warehouse of Worship and also the President of Sotiga MC in Henderson. He and his iron horsemen make $10 an hour to direct traffic and carry out other jobs around the grounds. He hopes to raise $3,000 to $5,000 this week, all going towards charity.
"I think that people have the wrong concept of what bikers really are. Bikers are givers and bikers are lovers of people, really. They really do care. People look at us and they look at the long hair, tattoos, the motorcycles and the way you dress and think that you're really no good. However whenever they see a bunch of motorcycles out generally we're out raising money for charity," said Lingerfelt.
Lingerfelt says the money raise this week will go towards feeding children around Christmas and also giving away toys.
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