Jul 8, 2002
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From an AMA press release:<BR><BR>AMA HONORS TWO WOMEN MOTORCYCLISTS<BR><BR>PICKERINGTON, OHIO - The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced that it has presented two of its highest awards to two women who have made significant contributions to American motorcycling.<BR><BR>Patti Mills of Topeka, Kansas, an accomplished long-distance road rider and former member of the AMA's Board of Directors, was presented with the AMA Dud Perkins Award for Outstanding Contribution to Motorcycling. Mills was one of four women chosen to participate in the 1988 Van Buren TransCon Ride, a cross-country motorcycle journey designed to draw attention to the growing number of women motorcyclists. During her nine years on the AMA Board of Directors, she helped launch the first AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference.<BR><BR>Rita Coombs of Morgantown, West Virginia, a well known promoter of numerous off-road motorcycle-racing events, was presented with the AMA Bessie Stringfield Award. Along with her late husband, Dave, she founded Racer Productions, which promotes the AMA National Motocross Championships, the AMA's largest amateur racing event, at the Loretta Lynn Ranch.<BR><BR>"Patti and Rita, through their tireless efforts and significant contributions, are great examples for all motorcyclists," said Robert Rasor, President of the AMA. "We're pleased to recognize the accomplishments of these two women."<BR><BR>Both awards were presented at the conclusion of the 2002 AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference, which was held in Buckhannon, West Virginia, June 29 through July 3. The conference was attended by more than 600 women from 40 states and four countries.<BR><BR>The event was the third Women & Motorcycling Conference sponsored by the AMA. The event featured a variety of workshops and seminars, roundtable discussions on women's involvement in motorcycling, a parade and street party, as well as a vendor midway, demo rides and a Motorcycle Safety Foundation DirtBike School, among other activities.<BR><BR>Established in 1971, the AMA Dud Perkins Award for Outstanding Contribution to Motorcycling was first presented to its namesake, a San Francisco motorcycle dealer who embodied tireless and generous dedication to every aspect of motorcycling. It's bestowed by the AMA Board of Directors and is the Association's highest honor.<BR><BR>Created in 2000, the AMA Bessie Stringfield Award is given to a woman who has had significant positive impact on the role, and image, of women in motorcycling, showing other women they can be active participants in the world of motorcycling. The award is bestowed by the AMA Board of Directors.