Bikes Head to St. Kitts and Nevis

 

Duane Martinez, (left) Community Bikes volunteer coordinator, joins Scott O’Mara of Knight Hawk Transport and Derek Busher of Hamilton Village. Thanks to combined volunteer efforts, 75 bikes, helmets and locks along with medical supplies were shipped last week to St. Kitts and Nevis.

Submitted by Constance Mente

(Hamilton, NY – Jan. 2012) Community Bikes recently shipped 75 bikes, helmets and locks, along with medical supplies, to the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Scott O’Mara of Knight Hawk Transport in Canastota wheeled his truck into 44 Milford St. in Hamilton, home of the Community Bikes workshop in space donated by Ed Ray of Ray’s Wayside. Derek Busher of the Hamilton Village crew was on hand with a forklift made available by the Village.

Working together with Community Bikes volunteer coordinator Duane Martinez, the three loaded 75 bikes, helmets and locks, along with a pallet of medical supplies, onto the truck for transport to the air base in Niagara Falls.

From there, the shipment will be transported by the Air Force to St Kitts and Nevis as part of a program to develop a life habit of cycling among elementary school children, and encourage those with an interest in competitive cycling.  The program is being coordinated by the St. Kitts and Nevis Cycling Federation.

Community Bikes’ Chuck Fox said the humanitarian project would not have been possible without the help of community volunteers.

“We are extremely grateful to Scott and Paul O’Mara for donating transportation service to get the bikes to Niagara Falls.  The Madison County work crew, along with several local service groups, did a great job of cleaning and preparing the bikes, and the Village was very helpful in providing use of a forklift.”

Fox also cited Chittenango’s Dr. Cedric Francis, a St. Kitts native who donated medical supplies to be delivered to JN France General Hospital in St. Kitts. The bikes and supplies are scheduled to be delivered to St. Kitts and Nevis on March 9.

Community Bikes collects donated bicycles, refurbishes them and places them with families who cannot afford a bike.  Community Bikes has placed more than 800 bikes with families in Madison County and has partnered with Youth Policy Institute to help send 165 bikes to Malawi in Africa.

Fox said the pilot program in St. Kitts and Nevis has been enthusiastically endorsed by the US State Department and USAID program as part of their initiatives in the eastern Caribbean, and hopes to build off this initial effort.

 

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