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Earn-A-Bike program seeks to lift the homeless, impoverished

Grand opening May 15 for new bike initiative at Riverview Gardens

April 30, 2013

Anyone with a desire to help the less fortunate in the Fox Cities -- and a passion for bicycling -- has another outlet for donations or volunteering.

Part of Riverview Gardens, a socially innovative nonprofit initiative that provides a new approach to address root causes of poverty, homelessness and unemployment, involves an Earn-A-Bike program in which low-income individuals are awarded a bicycle to help overcome employment-related transportation obstacles.

The initiative could use some support in the form of donations of new and used bikes or equipment as well as funds to help Earn-A-Bike purchase items such as bike locks, bike light kits, bike helmets or new bicycles.

A group of avid bicyclists, including Amanda and Freddy Weidner, who enjoy fixing bicycles for friends and family, are among the volunteers and members of the Fox Cities Cycling Association that have helped organize the Earn-A-Bike program.

“When people can’t get transportation to work, if that’s one thing preventing them from working, this is a program that will allow them to volunteer for a certain number of hours at the Gardens in order to earn a bike they can call their own and get to work,” Amanda said.

A grand opening of the Earn-A-Bike program will be held from 4-7 p.m. May 15 at the workshop on the south side of Riverview Gardens at 242 Seymour St., Appleton.

Donations of bicycles, helmets, lights or locks can be dropped off from 9 to noon May 11 or 4-7 p.m. May 15. Monetary donations can be made out and sent to: COTS Riverview Gardens, (check memo: Earn-A-Bike), 1101 S. Oneida St., Appleton WI 54915.

The 70-acre Riverview Gardens is still in various stages of development, including a market garden enterprise and a job training program. Over half of the former Riverview golf course property will ultimately become community park space for day-time enjoyment of green space, recreational trails, picnic tables and natural areas. For more information, go to www.riverviewgardens.org.

Riverview Gardens Earn-A-Bike grand opening

What: The public is invited to learn about the Earn-A-Bike program, see the remodeled workshop, work on bicycles and more at the grand opening.

When: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday May 15

Where: 242 W. Seymour St., Appleton, (remodeled workshop on the south end of the former golf course property).

How to help: Donations of new or used bicycles and bike accessories are accepted as well as financial contributions at: COTS Riverview Gardens, (check memo: Earn-A-Bike), 1101 S. Oneida St., Appleton WI,  54915.