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Alumna Wins Motorcycle in
Gentle Doctor Benefit Raffle

Drs. Melanie and K.C. Swope of Cuba, Mo., take delivery of the custom-built motorcycle Melanie Swope won during the 2014 Gentle Doctor Benefit raffle. Gary Savill (right), of Silver Wraith Choppers, built the motorcycle and donated it to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine as a fundraiser for student scholarships.

Gary Savill goes over the title to her new motorcycle with Melanie Swope.

Melanie Swope rode on the back of a motorcycle once, just around her driveway as a child.

“I’m more like the uneasy rider than the easy rider,” she said.

Swope, DVM ’88, was attending her 25-year class reunion in September when she heard about the motorcycle raffle for this year’s MU College of Veterinary Medicine Gentle Doctor Benefit, an annual gala to raise funds for veterinary student scholarships. Swope thought buying a ticket would be a good way to support her alma mater. The prize didn’t make much of a difference to her; after all, she never wins anything.

Consequently, the Cuba, Mo., native was stunned when she was notified her ticket had been drawn during the April 5 benefit.

Although she was thrilled by her good fortune, she has decided to sell the motorcycle, a custom bike built by Gary Savill and donated by him and his wife, Barbara Stampfli-Savill, and their business, Silver Wraith Choppers.

“I would rather it go to somebody who would enjoy it,” Swope said. “I don’t even have friends who ride motorcycles. We’re all horse people.”

She is trying to find a buyer with a connection to the veterinary school and hopes to donate some of the proceeds to the College.

Savill delivered the motorcycle to Swope this week. It features artwork inspired by the College mascots, the mule team of Tim and Terry.

“That’s awesome,” Swope said when she first saw the chopper. Her husband, K.C. Swope, DVM ’88, was also impressed.

Showing off the bike’s features – which include chrome-finish upper and lower controls, a custom-built tank and rear fender, and a king/queen seat with tuck-away passenger pegs – Savill explained how custom motorcycles resemble animals in that they need constant maintenance and care.

Anyone interested in purchasing the chopper can contact Swope at the Cuba Veterinary Clinic, 573-885-7775.


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College of Veterinary Medicine
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Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: (573) 882-3554
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Last Update: February 29, 2012