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BENEFIT | Harleys for Hope

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Though it's billed as a semi-formal gala, leather and lace are quite acceptable attire — and usually seen — at the Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual benefit, An Evening with Harley-Davidson.

The 14th annual event, co-hosted by Spokane Valley's Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson dealership, is being held at a new location this year, downtown Spokane's Barrister Winery. The evening features a cocktail hour, plated dinner and live and silent auctions.

Harley-Davidson has partnered with the national MDA organization to support treatment and research of muscular diseases since 1980, raising more than $80 million.

While Harley-Davidson's fight against muscular diseases has worldwide reach, money raised at the Spokane event goes to help more than 800 families at the MDA's regional clinics, extending through Eastern Washington, North Idaho and northeastern Oregon, says Spokane fundraising coordinator Leah Nathan. Paying for expenses not covered by insurance is just one way the organization assists families.

"We also help get them to a doctor more rapidly, to clinic specialists who are experts on the disease," Nathan says. The chapter also loans out and covers repairs of durable medical equipment, like wheelchairs. And money raised will help send kids to Camp Twinlow each July. For a week, campers are treated to one-on-one support from a counselor and lots of activities. For one special evening, local Harley riders come out to visit the kids and drive them around a field in their sidecars. "It's a week of magic — every activity, they can do," Nathan says. "The rest of the year they are limited."

An Evening with Harley-Davidson • Sat, March 28 • $50/person • Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad • mda.org • 325-3747