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Bikers contribute to education scholarships for Indian students

CRAZY HORSE, S.D. - Bikers will be bikers, but sometimes out of the fray comes a new reality, driven by an individual, that brings together others with like minds to foster change.

Fran Curtis, Delaware/Iroquois, a history teacher from Brentwood, Calif. watched last year as the Indian Motorcycle Corporation gave Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Scholarship Fund a check to help American Indian students.

The fund helps students in South Dakota attend college and technical schools and has provided more than $60,000 in scholarships over the years.

Curtis said he could raise a lot of money for the fund, in fact he said he could raise more than Indian Motorcycles gave. A teacher of at-risk students, he enlisted the help of his American Legion Veterans Riders Group Post 202 to raise the money. The veterans do comedy routines and comedy shows and from August 2002 to May 2003 they performed and raised money to donate.

Along the way, the owner of Abbey Carpets in Antioch, Calif., Steve Siegfried said he would match whatever Curtis raised.

Curtis and Siegfried presented Crazy Horse Memorial Scholarship fund with $7,000. Curtis said there will be more on the way. He and Siegfried presented the check to Ruth Ziolkowski, president and CEO of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is dedicated to American Indians and along with the story of Crazy Horse and the American Indian Museum of North America, the scholarship foundation came into being. Korczak Ziolkowski, Ruth's late husband, started the mountain carving in 1947.

Branscombe Richmond, vice president for the office of public affairs of the Indian Motorcycle Corporation also presented a check for $2,500 to the Crazy Horse Memorial Scholarship fund.