SOURCE: Harley-Davidson

August 10, 2005 14:47 ET

Fargo Resident Recognized for Her Spirit of Freedom

Wins New Harley-Davidson and Trip to the 65th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

MILWAUKEE, WI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 10, 2005 -- April Rohrer of Fargo, ND, will cruise the back roads of America for taking her life by the handlebars. Today Rohrer was introduced as the grand-prize winner of the first Spirit of Freedom Contest sponsored by Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE: HDI) and Jane magazine at the 65th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Harley-Davidson and Jane magazine launched the Spirit of Freedom Contest to recognize women who embody a spirit of adventure through small gestures, inner strength and every-day selfless acts. Two-hundred word essay nominations were judged on a commitment to regularly celebrate independence; involvement in motivating women to take control of their lives; and facing and overcoming challenges.

Rohrer, who has served 18 months in Iraq as a member of the North Dakota National Guard, was chosen as the Spirit of Freedom winner in part because of her continued efforts to help those less fortunate and drive to meet her goal of becoming a registered nurse. As the winner of the Spirit of Freedom Contest, Rohrer received a new Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Low, Rider's Edge New Rider Course training and a trip to the 65th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

"After hearing April's story, it was evident that she has helped and inspired many with her courage, independence and spirit," said Kathleen Lawler, vice president of communication at Harley-Davidson Motor Company. "Harley-Davidson and Jane magazine are proud to recognize her as the Spirit of Freedom Contest winner and hope her example will help motivate even more women to embrace independence, crave adventure and give to those in need."


In 2002, Rohrer enlisted in the Army National Guard to serve her country and secure financing to become a registered nurse. While spending 18 months in Iraq, April and her unit volunteered for combat medic duties on hundreds of missions, tending to severely wounded soldiers and Iraqi civilians. She also befriended an Iraqi mother of six who had lost her husband during the war fighting alongside American soldiers.

After returning home at the age of 22, Rohrer and members of her unit tirelessly aided the effort to bring her Iraqi friend and her seven children, including a newborn named April, to America and to safety. After helping save hundreds of lives, Rohrer is now working and attending college to fulfill her dream of becoming a registered nurse.

April was nominated for the Spirit of Freedom Contest by her mother, Barbara Bronstad. "I'm truly honored to be recognized by Harley-Davidson and Jane magazine," said Rohrer. "While I must admit that I'm anxious to get out on the open road on my new Harley, I hope my story will inspire others to live their lives to the fullest."


More and more women embrace the open road. In fact, the Motorcycle Industry Council reports that women now represent one in 12 U.S. motorcycle owners. The number of female Harley-Davidson owners has grown from only 600 in 1985 to more than 30,000 last year -- accounting for nearly 10 percent of new Harley buyers.

Helping fuel the growth of the sport among women is the Harley-Davidson Rider's Edge program, which teaches basic riding skills at select Harley-Davidson dealerships across the country. Since the program's inception in 2000, more than 40,000 people have learned to ride a motorcycle, and 42 percent of the students are women.

Visit to learn more about Harley-Davidson Motor Company and the Spirit of Freedom Contest.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Buell Motorcycle Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight street, custom and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories, apparel and general merchandise. Buell Motorcycle Company produces sport motorcycles in addition to motorcycle parts, accessories and apparel. Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc. provides wholesale and retail financing and insurance programs to Harley-Davidson/Buell dealers and customers.

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