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Bonanza offers bikes, big bucks

May 10, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

CONOCOCHEAGUE - Tyler Howard walked a slow circle around the maroon Harley-Davidson Road King, eyeing up the bike in silence.

After he finished, he turned to his girlfriend, Amy, and smiled.

"Maybe I'll win that," Howard said.

He was one of dozens of hopeful ticketholders drooling over the Road King and five other bikes in the Harley-Davidson tent Friday evening at the Bonanza Extravaganza at Hagerstown Speedway.

T.L. Lewis, the general manager of Harley-Davidson & Buell of Williamsport, said eight bikes from his shop will be given away today at the Bonanza, which is hosted by the International Association of Firefighters Local 1605 Foundation.

The event, in its third year, is the foundation's annual fundraiser.

This year, it features four live bands, tip jars, games and more than $800,000 in prizes, including seven Chevrolet cars and trucks and Lewis' eight Harleys.

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"This is something we wanted to do to step up our donations to the community," said Rick Conrad, the event's chairman.

In the last two years, the foundation has donated more than $200,000 to nonprofits and charities in Washington County through gaming money raised at the event, Conrad said.

Jay Grimes, president of the Williamsport Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co., said that his company got $14,000 from the foundation last year.

"It's definitely a good thing for the fire companies," said Grimes, who along with other members of the Williamsport company was running a gun raffle and tip jar booth at the Bonanza.

Although the big prizes will be given away today, Conrad said he expected 6,000 people to show up for "Big Money Friday."

Everyone who walked through the gate Friday got a ticket, and fifteen of those tickets were good for $1,000 in cash at the end of the night. Winners had to be present to collect their money when the tickets were drawn at 10 p.m. Friday, Conrad said.

But before then, people listened to The 69 Band and Thique play live music. They threw down money on tip jars, gambling wheels and other games. They ate barbecue sandwiches and piles of french fries, and drank all the beer they could stomach for $10.

"It's a good time, man," said Jason Patrick, 28, of Chambersburg, Pa. "Beer, good food, good music. Some nice prizes. It's a good time."

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