Archive for Thursday, April 28, 2011

Edwardsville approves festival for new business

April 28, 2011

With the Edwardsville City Council’s unanimous approval Monday night of a picnic and music festival, Jack Hartman is ready to kick off his new business, Big Twin Motorcycles, with a grand reopening event May 7.

But Hartman, who purchased the business at 10933 Kaw Drive in Edwardsville from former owner James Dearth in February, says he wants the event to be more than just about introducing himself to the community. That’s why it will include a motorcycle show, with proceeds to go to the “Bikers for Boobies” cancer fund drive, and a toy drive to benefit Michael Bergen’s Hands to Heart Toys for Disadvantaged Children foundation. Proceeds from a car wash, vendors and raffle will also be split 50-50 between both organizations, Hartman said.

Hartman chose both organizations, he said, because of his close association with their founders. He is friends with both Bergen and Debbie Ball, Overland Park, who started the “Bikers for Boobies” organization after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

“I’ve always been a charitable person, but I mean … it kind of hits you closer to home … when you know somebody that goes through it,” Hartman said. “Then you actually see what it does to people.”

Hartman, who is from Kansas City, Kan., says he purchased Big Twins after a conversation with Dearth about the possibility of opening his own bike or custom car shop. Dearth is also co-owner of the Wrap Factory, a custom design and automotive decorative decal company at 10952 Kaw Drive.

“He asked if I’d be interested in buying it,” Hartman said, and the rest is history. Now Hartman is the owner of a store that specializes in custom-made motorcycles as well as repair work.

Registration for the bike show is $20, or $15 and one toy that will go into the toy drive. Hartman said all toys must be new and in their original packaging. Live music throughout the event will be provided by The Fall Down Drunks, a rockabilly and bluegrass band from Kansas City, Kan., and Skooter Trash, a rock band that plays regularly throughout the Kansas City metro area.

No alcohol will be available but vendors will sell food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Hartman says he’s looking forward to having people learn more about his shop through the festival and also to helping out some charities. He sees it as a “two-for-one deal.”

“Well, it’s a two-part thing, obviously, to help the charities and obviously the more exposure I get in here, it’s better for my shop,” he said. “And I’m very proud to have my name associated with both of those charities, too.”

He says he’s hoping to raise between $5,000 and $10,000 for the charities and is hoping to draw about 500-600 people.

The re-opening event will be from noon to 10 p.m. at Big Twins, with registration for bikes going on from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information, contact Hartman at (913) 660-2596.

Also on Monday, the council:

• Unanimously approved the minutes of the April 11 meeting.

• Unanimously approved payment of bills totaling $96,698.82.

• Had a swearing-in ceremony for re-elected Mayor John “Tiny” Mctaggart, re-elected Council members Chuck Adams and Craig Craider, and newly elected Council member Garrett Mellott. The council also honored outgoing Council president Doug Danner for his years of service on the council, as well as other city committees.

• Appointed Council member Mark Bishop as new council president.

Find more items from Monday’s meeting at

• Unanimously approved granting $6,000 toward Autumnfest, organized by the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Area Chamber of Commerce.


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