After a hugely successful “Nicky Hayden Day” fundraising event on June 9, 2021, organizers are again planning a charity motorcycle ride and limited edition Four Roses bourbon bottle sale with all proceeds benefiting the Nicky Hayden Memorial Foundation. But this year, there will also be a live auction and raffle with chances for the community to buy tickets at Friday After 5 and PorchFest.
Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson declared that June 9 would forever be known as “Nicky Hayden Day” during the unveiling of the bronze Kentucky Kid statue downtown in 2018. That particular date — 6/9/18 — was chosen in reference to Hayden’s now retired racing number, #69.
Since then, the community has embraced the idea and used June 9 as an opportunity to host fundraising events to raise money for the Nicky Hayden Memorial Foundation, which was created to honor the legacy of 2006 MotoGP World Champion, Nicky Hayden (nicknamed “The Kentucky Kid” in the racing world), who died in May 2017 after a bicycle accident.
The first charity motorcycle ride to benefit the Nicky Hayden Memorial Foundation was held in 2018. The idea to combine the charity ride with the bourbon bottle sale came up in a conversation with Lure Seafood operating partner Ben Skiadas, who wanted to do something around Nicky Hayden day at Lure in 2021. So to try something new for 2021, the motorcycle ride began at the statue and ended at Lure Seafood — just a block away — to coincide with the bourbon bottle sale.
“What started from a small conversation has turned into a much larger project and a cool event with local impact to honor one of our community’s heroes,” Skiadis said. “Because of our relationship with the Hayden family, their impact in the community, the work the Foundation has done, and what a beloved person Nicky was, we’re thrilled to help the Foundation continue their efforts.”
The Charity Ride
For 2022, the charity ride will again start at the Nicky Hayden statue, where motorcycle riders are asked to gather at 5:30 p.m. with kickstands up at 6:09 p.m. From there, the engines will roar through downtown and out past Hayden’s final resting place, ending back at Lure Seafood. Riders are not charged to ride, but donations for the Memorial Foundation will be accepted. As an added benefit, the first 69 riders in line will receive a free raffle ticket (explained below) as a thank you for participating.
Bourbon Bottle Sale
During and after the charity ride, festivities continue at Lure Seafood, where the limited edition Four Roses bourbon bottles will go on sale at 6:09 p.m. and a live auction will follow. Only 150 bottles will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. The bourbon bottles are poured from a private selection Four Roses barrel hand-picked for this occasion and are wrapped with a custom-designed Nicky Hayden label. The bottles will only be sold as part of a package that also includes a Glencairn glass and Nicky Hayden bobble head with stand for $400.
At 8:30 p.m., there will also be a live auction with items such as a 2017 Nicky Hayden edition Tissot watch, a double limited edition bourbon bottle collector set with this year’s bottle and last year’s bottle, a set of gloves that Nicky wore in a race, and the custom Four Roses barrel head from this year’s private bourbon barrel selection.
In addition to the live auction, raffle tickets will also be sold for items such as a Nicky Hayden Arai Reset helmet and single limited edition Four Roses bourbon bottles from 2021 and 2022. Raffle tickets will also be sold at Bike Night during Friday After 5 on June 10, and the winners will be drawn June 11 at PorchFest.
All proceeds from the charity ride, limited edition Four Roses bourbon bottle package sales, live auction, and raffle will go to the Nicky Hayden Memorial Foundation for future projects.
Through the foundation, the Hayden family has carried on Nicky’s spirit of giving back, especially to the Owensboro community. A few examples of projects the foundation has contributed to include the Nicky Hayden Apartments at Pitino Shelter, the Hayden Home for Girls at St. Joseph’s Peace Mission, Owensboro Boys and Girls Club, Daviess County Public Schools Family Resource Centers, Puzzle Pieces, Fresh Start women’s shelter, Habitat for Humanity, and St. Benedict’s Homeless Shelter, as well as granting a wish for a local teen through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which was also one of Nicky’s favorite charities.