Area Rotary Clubs Band Together to Gift Kids with Bikes

Published : Monday, November 18, 2019 | 6:00 AM

It’s a “Party of Five” this year as area Rotary Clubs coalesce to buy bicycles for Pasadena Unified School District students.

“Bikes for Christmas” is a program designed to give bikes and safety helmets to children whose families would otherwise never be able to afford one,” according to the program’s website. “The purpose of the program is to promote exercise and freedom of movement for children in our community.”

Rotary Club of Pasadena started the program four years ago, according to spokeswoman Colleen Carey. The next year it was joined by sister chapters in Altadena and San Marino.

This year, she said, Alhambra joins the party.

Each member contributes to the purchase of Huffy bicycles, locks and, lest we short-shrift the importance of safety, helmets, too.

Carey highlighted the efforts of former Pasadena Rotary President Kathy Meagher who approached the Huffy bicycle company with the idea and, as they say, got a deal.

In the past, between 150 and 200 bikes have been gifted. The bicycles will be handed out Dec. 12 at the Salvation Army.

“They are a huge participant, because the Salvation Army picks up the bikes for us down in San Pedro at the warehouse so we don’t have to pay for shipping and we don’t have to pay taxes,” explained Carey.

The bikes are for young tykes, ranging in size from 12 inches to 24 inches, with a handful of larger models for adolescents.

The bikes come with a theft insurance plan of sorts as the Pasadena Police Department are typically on hand at the giveaway, recording serial numbers and attaching them to the new owners’ names, in the case of theft (and recovery).

Carey described the event as Pasadena Rotary’s “signature, community hands-on project. We do a lot of community projects throughout the year, but this is definitely the largest one.”

The purchase is financed by contributions from members of each club, and buttressed by a donation from the Huntington Hospital Foundation.

“The equipment is ordered in August and put into storage until mid-November when Rotarians and their families assemble the bikes,” said the website. “Working with the Salvation Army and the Pasadena Unified School District, the bikes, helmets and gear are then dispersed in mid-December to pre-selected families.”

According to Carey, The assembly of 250 bikes took place at the PUSD Maintenance Facility located at 740 West Woodbury Road on November 9.

The bikes, she said, will be distributed at 8:30 a.m. on December 12th at The Salvation Army Tabernacle located at East Walnut and Mentor Avenue.

The families that will receive the bicycles have already been preselected by PUSD.

The Rotary Club of Pasadena is celebrating 100 years of service. For more visit, http://www.pasadenarotary.com/

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