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MMA Storm the State House 2014 A Huge Success!

Published on 5/22/2014

MMA Storm the State House 2014 A Huge Success! 

The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) extends its thanks to the riders who turned out in force on Thursday, May 15, 2014 for the MMA’s 13th annual “Storm the State House”. The weather forecast was dismal earlier in the week, but the sun came out with enough cloud cover to make it a cool ride as the bikes rounded the State House and the Boston Common. Memories of a certain midnight ride echoed in the spirit of those in attendance as the flags waved in the breeze.

Riders of the STORM 2014 parking on Charles Street

Parking in reserved spaces on Charles Street, the riders made their way to the State House steps for a quick photo and were met by State Representative Geoff Deihl who presented each rider with a bottle of water – a welcome respite as the sun finished breaking through the clouds. Making our way through State House security, the riders then converged in the Gardner Auditorium for a couple of brief presentations.

Some of the Riders of the MMA 2014 Storm the State House

State Representative Carolyn Dykema and a member of Senator Tarr’s staff presented the MMA with a copy of the signed bill welcoming Motorcyclists to the Governor’s Highway Safety Committee. Representative Dykema thanked the riders for assembling in the people’s house to let their voices be heard. Also thanking the MMA leadership for their partnership, Representative Dykema offered her congratulations to the riders for their success in getting a voice on this important committee. The MMA contingent, led by Chairman Dave Condon, thanked both the Representative and Senator Tarr for their roles in not only sponsoring the bill, but spearheading the legislative process to make it happen.

State Representative Carolyn Dykema Addresses the "Storm"

In attendance this year were also Jenn and Kelly Komola, daughters of our beloved passed brother, Sarge. Joe “Sarge” Komola was a fixture at the State House and at numerous MMA rides and events. This year’s Storm was held in memory of Sarge and we were pleased to present Jenn & Kelly with commemorative T-shirts, copies of the programs, and also memorial patches.

Jenn & Kelly Komola receive their commemorative shirts from
Legislative Director Rick Gleason, Vice Chairman Doc D'Errico, & Chairman Dave Condon

MMA Legislative Director, Rick Gleason gave an overview of the MMA Legislative Agenda and some of the challenges we face at the State level, while MMA Vice Chairman and MRF State Representative, Doc D’Errico provided an overview of the issues we face at the National Level. After the presentations, the riders then left to visit their respective legislators to present them with copies of the event program, which outlines the MMA’s Legislative Agenda. 

Another surprise awaited the Komola sisters as the Senate Session that day was formally adjourned in memory of our beloved brother, Joe “Sarge” Komola. As previously noted, “Sarge” was a fixture at the State House, fighting for your freedoms. He was so well known that the joke was that he had his own private motorcycle parking space, a comment also made by Senate President, Theresa Murray as she read the adjournment order.  It was clear that the Senate missed Sarge, but even more moving were the numerous guards and aides who approached the sisters and MMA officers to offer their condolences and memories of Sarge.

Members of the Massachusetts Senate greet Jenn & Kelly Komola
with some of the riders of the Storm the State House;
the MA Senate Adjourned in honor of Joe "Sarge" Komola
May 15, 2014

Sarge’s biggest claim to fame there was the legend of walking the halls, pounding his fist on Legislators’ desks asking, “where’s our money?” - a not unreasonable question since every year, your $2 premium on your motorcycle registration gets appropriated into the general fund instead of the Motorcycle Safety Fund as it was designed to be. Every year, the MMA fights to get that money restored to its rightful place in the budget, and Sarge was a huge champion for that in his day. Chairman Dave Condon commented, "the thing I learned from Sarge, and perhaps his greatest legacy, is that one person can make a difference!"

In advance of the event, we did get a few pieces of correspondence, in email and on Facebook, complaining that “it’s a work day”. Well, that’s when your Legislators are AT WORK!  That’s why we go on this particular day every year – the Legislature is in session, so they’re in their offices. We do realize that not everyone can take the day off, but the riders in attendance all stood tall and proud on Thursday to represent you, the riders. It made for an exciting and uplifting day. 

Other correspondence asked questions like “when are ‘you’ going to do something about the helmet law?” and things of that ilk. The sad part is that there is no “you”… It’s “us”. It is “WE THE PEOPLE” who affect change. The riders in attendance reminded our legislators that WE, THE PEOPLE, VOTE MOTORCYCLE! 

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