Friday, May 28, 2010

Neighborhood Pride Program Kick-Off!

O.K., so today was one of those days. I thought (last night) that it would be a 14 hour slug-fest of events and work, but I was wrong. It was "one of those days" in a good way...a great way actually. I had to be out early and drive to the south east side of the city to Moler School. Today was the press junket and kick-off for Mayor Coleman's Neighborhood Pride Program. I have been collecting used kid's bikes for months, refurbishing them, and driving them to the City Of Columbus salt truck lot where Bruce Black (friend and Neighborhood Services Coordinator) has a storage shed to drop the bikes off.

Today I was able to see the effects of the effort, arriving to a very busy school yard full of happy, helmet-clad children from Moler Elementary School. They were learning how to safely navigate city streets thanks to Tricia Kovacs and her "Safety Town,"
a portable plywood city that allows for the education of proper hand signals, stop-sign routines, and other important cycling rules and info. It was a hive of happy, energetic kids enjoying the use of the donated bikes.

Columbus PD and Fire Departments were on hand to demonstrate the equipment they use to keep the kids safe..and to encourage them to stay in school so they too could live to take their dream jobs. The kids really loved the fire truck siren.

Watching the kids wearing their helmets ALL DAY, regardless of whether or not they were riding, was a great sight. All the helmets had been donated as well, and it was encouraging to see all the emphasis on safe navigation while cycling.

The dog was the "partner" to a woman who worked for Animal Control. He was really calm with all the nervous kids who were fascinated by him. The fire truck siren made the ol' boy howl, and all the kids laughed..or ran!

The Max & Erma's crew were there, and the two ladies (one inside the costume on a 90 degree day) involved were eager to be there and support the program. Both were busy store managers who took time out of their day to be there.

Mr. Bruce Black was busy getting all the tykes jazzed up about the days events. It's great to know guys like Bruce exist on a city payroll. The things he accomplishes with so little are amazing, and the people who live here should be very proud of what he does with their tax dollars.

Mayor Coleman stopped by for a speech, to high-five some kids, and talk to the press about his plans. He told every kid who came to talk to him that he loved them, and wanted to come ride bikes with them. Very touching!

The kids at Moler had a very active day...from rock-climbing, to running and cycling, they were exhausted by the time 12:30 rolled around. All the snacks were healthy, and it was great to watch them all work so hard.

Lyd and I do everything we can to support this program, and many team sponsors have donated things through the team that end up helping this endeavor out. SIGMA sends computers, Amino Vital drink mix keeps up moving, and I am happy to be a part of the fabric here. Thanks to Mayor Coleman (below) and Bruce Black for allowing us to step up and help.

I left quickly, and headed to the new OSU Student Union building to take part in a special meeting for Pelotonia (ride to cure cancer), with special guests Dr. Gordon Gee and Buckeye Head Coach Jim Tressel. By 2:30 I was back at work an actually got out by 9:30p.m. Nice.


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