By: Sharon Aron Baron
Over 200 children will be receiving brand new bicycles for the holidays thanks to one South Florida organization.
Families lined up to receive tricycles, bicycles and brand new helmets, all courtesy of the The Adopt-a-Bike Foundation last Saturday at the Lauderhill Target. Recipients included children from Driftwood Elementary in Hollywood and A Place Called Hope Church located in Cooper City.
Celia Conti, Event Coordinator for Adopt-a-Bike said that this was the first year that foundation members were able to see individuals pick up the bicycles, as they were usually distributed straight to the organizations.
“The bikes are all from Target,” said Conti, “Store Managers Alex Reyes and Carole Dubovik were really instrumental in getting all the different sizes of bicycles that we needed from the various stores and warehouses to this location as well as getting them assembled for us.”
Getting 200 bicycles out the door was no easy task. On Saturday, lines of people, cars, as well as onlookers were at the Target store creating a commotion.
“It was a big undertaking, but it came off very well, and we were very happy to do it.” Said Conti.
Adopt-a-Bike Foundation was born in 2002 from the 300-plus members of the South Broward Wheelers who wanted to give back to their community. Over the years, they have given over 2,000 bikes to children who would not have the opportunity to own one.
“We were incorporated last year and now we’re the Adopt-a-Bike foundation and a tax deductible 501c3 organization,” said Conti.
Throughout the year, the foundation supports Women in Distress, ChildNet, and has a special needs division where they help a children that may need a custom built bike which could cost from $1,000 to $3,000.
“We’ll work their physical therapist or doctor to make sure its built correctly. We do this throughout the year.”
Conti, a Plantation Acres resident, has been a cycling enthusiast for 30 years and rides three to five times a week. She also teaches cycling advocacy which educates cyclists and motorists to be safe on the road.
On December 18, In conjunction with Kohl’s Department Stories, Conti will be heading to a couple of classes at Parkside Elementary School in Coral Springs.
“I’m giving out bicycles helmets and teaching the children about bike safety. This is in conjunction with Kohl’s, who we are trying to get onboard so we can receive a possible grant for our program.”
To learn more about Adopt-a-Bike, go to their website or contact Celia Conti at firstname.lastname@example.org