Hamsters USA raise $282,000 for Special Kids

Image & info: LifeScape

International motorcycle group Hamsters USA once again rolled into western South Dakota to make an impact for kids with disabilities. This big-hearted group came together over the course of the year to raise funds for LifeScape Children’s Care of Rapid City. In the end, they gathered close to $282,000, which they used to support local children with disabilities.

Hamsters USA has raised and donated funds at their annual meeting for the last 13 years. Many Hamsters consider the greater Black Hills community their second home, and they want to give back to it. This year’s event brings their cumulative total for 13 years to over $3 million in total dollars raised for LifeScape Children’s Care in Rapid City. This money helps provide services to children in Black Hills area homes and communities, delivered by LifeScape Children’s Care personnel who drive over 10,000 miles a month to provide services.

Their kind works desire to help are why LifeScape nominated this amazing group of gentlemen to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, into which they will be inducted this week. Additionally, in recognition of this group’s incredible spirit, longstanding commitment to the motorcycle community and dedication to the care of children in need, the entire Hamsters USA group was presented with the 2018 Chrome Heart Award.

Michelet Slaughter, a nine-year-old from Rapid City, SD, and his family spoke at this year’s event. Michelet was born in Haiti with hydrocephalus, causing his head to be so heavy he couldn’t lift it or roll over, but his smile lights up any room he enters. His mother died when he was a few months old, and his grandfather, though deeply loving, found he was unable to give him all the care he deserved. When Gayla Slaughter met him in his orphanage, she knew instantly she wanted to help. It took four years, but with the help of LifeScape, she was able to adopt him and bring him back to Rapid City. His first surgery happened immediately upon arrival, and since then he’s had three more. Gayla credits LifeScape for his progress – when he first came to his new home, he’d never even stood, but now he can walk with a gait trainer he received through the organization. He’s currently working on learning to walk with crutches, which will let him access a whole new world. Gayla and Dwain are incredibly proud to be his parents.

The Slaughters are also proud to be ambassadors for LifeScape at the Hamsters’ event this year, thanking them for their fundraising efforts that directly impact their family.

LifeScape’s mission is to empower children with disabilities, helping them to lead fulfilling lives. Michelet and his family say LifeScape has done this for them, and they are grateful to LifeScape and to the donors, like the Hamsters, who make the strides they’ve experienced possible.