Kick-off event to highlight bike program
By Bill Vidonic
Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Butler County will begin a drive this week to provide bicycles for children with disabilities.
County commissioners will host a kickoff event at 3:30 p.m. Thursday outside the Butler County Courthouse for the “My Bike” program. It is sponsored by Variety the Children's Charity in Robinson and founding sponsor Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The goal, according to Commissioner Chairman Bill McCarrier, is to generate publicity for the program and identify children in Butler County eligible to receive adaptive bicycles.
Each bike costs $1,800. Sponsors can pick up the cost so that children “may have the freedom of a bike and the joy of riding alongside friends,” McCarrier said.
“One mother said to me at one point, ‘Charlie, how could we apply for something that we didn't know existed?'” said Charlie LaVallee, Variety CEO.
Since the program began in November, the organization has provided 268 adaptive bikes in a 10-county region of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Green, Indiana, Westmoreland, Washington and Lawrence counties.
The bikes are outfitted with equipment, which could include seatbelts and hand brakes, to help children with physical disabilities ride them.
Twelve children already have received bikes in Butler County, LaVallee said, but the organization wants others children in the county to apply for the bikes.
LaVallee said families should quickly apply for a bike, as a waiting list is being developed.
Donations and sponsorships have far outpaced expectations, LaVallee said. The organization initially set a goal of 200 sponsored bikes. One anonymous donor gave $100,000 to the program.
“I think people are really able to identify,” LaVallee said. “They remember having a bike, or their kids having a bike, and this is pretty easy, that they think that every kid should have a bike.”
Additional information about the program is available by going to http://varietypittsburgh.org/MyBikeProgram.asp or by calling 412-747-2680.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.