Monthly Archives: April 2012
The fourth year of the Community Bikes Giveaway was held at the Northside Plaza in Oneida. It was anticipated that nearly 300 bikes will be placed at the giveaway for ages ranging from 5 to 75.
Originally posted by Syracuse Post Standard on Sunday, April 15.
Crowds started forming as early as 8 a.m. for this year’s Bike Day on Sunday, April 15, anxiously waiting for the doors to open at 1 p.m. More than 450 adults and children had been pre-registered through referrals by Madison County human service agencies, schools and churches. By 3:30p.m., all 321 bikes had been placed with families.
“This is great,” said coordinator Chuck Fox. “A bicycle can make a big difference for these families, whether it’s for commuting to work, getting to school, recreation and fitness or just for fun. We’re glad to be able to help.”
Fox pointed out that the bikes were donated by neighbors from the community, then serviced and cleaned by volunteers. “Bike donors have the satisfaction of knowing that a bike that may have been sitting in their garage will be put to good use by someone who can’t afford one. Volunteers know that they are doing important work to benefit others in the community.”
Community Bikes has placed more than 1200 bikes since its first Bike Day four years ago. Each recipient also received a helmet, donated by the Madison County Sherriff’s Department, and a lock. Volunteers helped match each recipient with the proper bike and helmet.
Jess Blank was on hand to cover this year’s event for NBC News, adding to the excitement of the day.
By Michael Yeoman
Contributing Writer —
Lines started forming as early as 8 a.m. as eager children and adults anxiously awaited for the doors to open at 1 p.m. on this year’s annual Bike Day as 321 families in Madison County who may have otherwise not been able to afford one received bicycles.
Ainsley Penicle, 3, of Oneida Castle was in the front quarter of the line stretching from the former Rite-Aid store down to United Auto Parts at the North Side Shopping Center. She hoped to find a pink bicycle with training wheels so she could learn how to ride.
Inside, Community Bikes coordinator Chuck Fox held a last-minute meeting with a large group of volunteers who came out to help place the correct bike with each individual.
“Getting a bicycle today is going to make a big difference for a lot of these kids and families and they do appreciate it,” Fox said. He encouraged volunteers to make the experience as special and as positive for the recipient as possible.
Both older and newer bikes were donated by area residents throughout the year. “We have everything from tricycles to mountain bikes here today,” said Fox. Rows of tricycles, cruisers, hybrids, and mountain bikes sat polished up and ready to go. Volunteers had spent the winter months fixing up the donated bicycles and making them safe for their new owner.
As families entered the former Rite-Aid, they were greeted by a “mechanic” who walked with them to the bike an individual selected, helped them adjust the seat to its proper height and explain how to use the brakes and gears.
“This is super cool,” said Austin Ungler, 11, of Eaton, whose face was brimming with smiles as he guided his bike around the floor of the giveaway area. He was assisted by Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley, who was on hand with his wife, Carol, and several other volunteers to help to properly fit the helmets onto the heads of new owners.
“This is a great event. The kids get a good feeling about themselves with their new bicycles and have a safe bike to ride during the spring and summer months,” Riley said.
In addition to the bicycle and helmet, most of the bicycle recipients also received a lock to safely secure the bicycle at school or at work.
“We are extremely grateful to those individuals and organizations who donate their unused bicycles,” said Fox. “They have the satisfaction of knowing that a bike that may be sitting unused in their garage will be enjoyed by someone in our community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a bike.”
This year’s Community Bikes Program was the fourth annual giveaway in Madison County and the first held at the North Side Shopping Center. Previous years’ events have been at the Kallet Civic Center.
Fox also credits Community Action Partnership of Madison County for being an active partner with Community Bikes over the past four years and in helping to assemble a listing for the placement of bikes for this event with families and individuals in Madison County who are in need of one.
The local demand for bicycles exceeds the number given away at the annual distribution on Bike Day. “Every year it seems the demand increases. It could be a sign of the economy,” Fox said. Those who do not receive a bike at the annual giveaway are placed on a list and provided with a bicycle when one is received that meets their needs. Fox accepts donations year round to help meet the demands of this important program.
Originally posted by The Oneida Dispatch on 4/15.
HAMILTON — Community Bikes has received an increased number of donations in advance of the annual Bike Day Sunday, April 15, when more than 300 bicycles will be placed with families in Madison County who can’t afford one.
Community Bikes coordinator Chuck Fox said that bike donations are critical to the success of the project. “We are extremely grateful to those individuals and organizations who donate their unused bicycles,” said Fox. “They have the satisfaction of knowing that a bike that may be sitting unused in their garage will be enjoyed by someone in our community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a bike.” He noted that, while the Bike Day is scheduled for Sunday, April 15 bike donations are needed and welcome year round.
Fox said the organization seeks bikes of all descriptions and for all ages, and that bikes should be in good to excellent working condition.
There are several drop off locations around the county including the First Baptist Church in Chittenango, St. James Church in Cazenovia, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Oneida, Community Action Partnership in Canastota and the Community Bikes workshop at 40 Milford St. in Hamilton. In some cases pick up of bikes can be arranged.
Community Bikes annual Bike Day Sunday will be held at the former Rite Aid Building in the Northside Shopping Plaza on North Main Street in Oneida from 1-3 p.m. Bike recipients must be present and pre-registered to receive a bike.
Posted by Oneida Dispatch on April 06, 2012