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Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 in FBA | 0 comments

The spirit of the holidays

It’s the holiday season, YAY!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?  Of course it is!  Is there anyone out there that doesn’t enjoy the festive spirit of December?  Really? Well, let’s see if that “bah-humbug” attitude continues after this blog.

I personally love the holidays.  OK, so Florida may not experience cold winters or white Christmases, but when it comes to the season of giving, we got this – especially Florida Bicycle Association member bicycle clubs.

FBA member bicycle clubs around the state have spent these last few weeks of December providing children the joy of their first bicycle.  For example, the Boca Raton Bicycle Club recently donated 127 bicycles, helmets and locks to deserving school children through their Bernie Kite Fund along with the proceeds from their Frank Stark fundraising ride and other sponsors.

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Bernie Kite was a long-standing BRBC board member, club member and friend who passed away in 2014. One of his passions was to lead the Boca Raton Bicycle Club’s effort to donate bicycles, helmets, locks and lights to impoverished individuals. BRBC established a memorial fund where members can donate in order to honor Bernie and his passion.

“We are so happy to be a bicycling club that gives back to our community. Our members young, old and from as far away as Canada, hope to encourage bicycle riding in our neighborhoods to show that this is a great recreational activity as well as a clean and healthy way for people to commute.” Jon Berman, President of the Club stated.

On the west coast, the Sarasota-Manatee Bicycle Club continued their holiday bicycle donation with a contribution to Turning Points, a one-stop center for the homeless in Bradenton.

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The Sarasota-Manatee Bicycle Club donation to Turning Points

And to the north, FBA bicycle club member North Florida Bicycle Club, in particular volunteer Jerry Potts, has for the past 10 years collected donations and recruited volunteers to assist during the Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville.  The Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville, a non-profit organization, was founded in December 1999 by Travis and Margaret Storey to provide toys for Jacksonville children, 12-years old and under, who otherwise might not receive toys during the holiday season.  Over 23,000 toys and 1260 volunteers were recruited this year, with yours truly being one of those volunteers.

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Volunteers assemble prior to the Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville.

An estimated 900 bicycles were distributed to children who randomly received the “Wheels Depot” entry necklace, with NFBC volunteers on hand to fit helmets to the lucky children.

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The “Wheels Depot”..

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..the 2016 NFBC volunteer Christmas Party crew

This party is billed as Jacksonville’s Happiest Holiday Tradition and quite honestly, how could it not?  The smiles and excitement of the children just fills the soul with holiday delight.  It hardly seems like work when you are part of making someone happy.

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Jerry fits a helmet to a lucky trike recipient

This holiday season, don’t be Scrooged.  Fight the ‘bah-humbug’ by volunteering somewhere to benefit someone in need.  It may just surprise you how much you needed to be the one to help.

May your heart be filled with the joy of giving, as it is the expression of the love in your heart and the kindness in your soul.

On behalf of the Florida Bicycle Association Board of Directors and Advisory Board,

Happy Holidays!

Our blog will be back in 2017 – Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Thank your bicycle hero with a 2016 FBA Annual Award nomination!  Use this LINK to submit your nomination online today.  Deadline for 2016 FBA Annual Award nominations January 31, 2017.  Recipients announced March 1, 2017 to kick off Florida Bike Month!

Do you have a bicycle story to tell?  Photos to share?  Be our guest and be our next guest blogger!  Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org.

Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure.  Visit the FBA website Home page or click here.  Want a hard copy of our Messenger?  Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members!

Complete Streets Savvy, or CSS, is a general bicycle educational presentation.  The purpose is to provide basic information with regards to the Florida Department of Transportation’s adoption of Complete Streets policy and how cyclists and motorists can share the road safely. This presentation runs 10 – 15 minutes and is designed for legislators, civic organizations and other entities that meet regularly and need informative content.  There is no fee.  Make your request for CSS today!

Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association share a common cause in bicycle education for residents and visitors to the Sunshine State.  Share the Road license plate proceeds benefit Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association to further these bicycle educational efforts.  What’s on your motor vehicle?  Get the Share the Road license plate!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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