It started with my board member, Annie Schnur. She sent the message…”My friend Kathy Jones is going to an auction in Philly in February and she said that on the inventory list are used police mountain bikes. They do need repairs but are we interested ? She said in the past they went for. $10.00 apiece ! She would handle the bidding and bring them up to her shop. I have no idea how many or what shape they are in. ” My answer was “YES!”
Then Tom Bucci got involved. Tommy regularly attends and helps out with River House PA functions but is connected to the Coatsville VA Hospital, as an employee and as volunteer with dog therapy. He offered to bid for RH and drive down to Philadelphia to pick them up after the auction is over. It took a lot of paying attention to watch the bidding, which climbed higher and higher. “I’ll pay up to $150 for the 5 bikes,” Tommy generously offered, who hoped to keep one of the bikes for himself, which we were happy to agree too.
Then the bidding went past $150 and he asked, “How high do you want to go?”
I involved my husband, Todd’s best friend, Shawn Shoener, who once was the head bike mechanic at the local bike shop. We brought up the auction website and blew up the photo of the bikes to look closer as to what brand they were and in what kind of shape they were in. They looked like good bikes, but without the seats and seat posts. “Keep bidding,” I instructed Tommy, and so he did.
Tom won the bikes at $310, which brought each bike to $60 without the repairs/parts and tuning. When Tom fetched them in Philadelphia and brought them over to our house, Shawn looked up the model numbers and said that some of the bikes were $1200 new. We did well.
Shawn and Todd went right to work looking them over, taking notes on what parts were needed and immediately drove to a bike shop trying to find the missing parts. Todd picked up where Shawn left off, purchasing parts and putting the seats on. Then Shawn will need to tune them up. Come spring, we will have four great mountain bikes added to our fleet so we can take the Lebanon VA Hospital Veterans on a bike ride on the Schuylkill River Trail. It is my hope to get some of the graduates from the program who have gone on in their lives to go an extended bike trip down the pike.
All these hours of work and time spent, (as well as $ from Tom Bucci) out of the kindness of their hearts, to help our Veterans. It warms my heart. I can’t do this myself and I am glad that I do not have to. Thanks to my husband Todd, Tom Bucci, Shawn Shoener and Annie Schnurr and Kathy Jones for thinking of us in the first place.
Another wonderful board member, Tim Minnich has a GoFundMe page started to get more bikes as we could use a few more in our fleet. I also purchased a few other other mountain bikes at yard sales. If anyone has a mountain bike that is in good shape hanging in their garage, we could put it to good use.
Thank you everyone for all that you do. Let’s Ride!