The Lions Step In
There seemed to be no playful laughter on the once-busy streets. “It was evident that the kids needed something,” says Kelso Lions Club member Chuck Klawitter. “We wanted to help the children and have a positive impact on the community.”
The Kelso Lions started a bike clinic at Barnes Elementary School. They offered free repairs, helmets, bikes and bicycle safety instruction for schoolchildren. And they made it easy. The kids simply dropped off their bikes at school in the morning and Lions volunteers repaired the bikes and returned them to the kids at the end of the school day. “We put on a lot of new grips, tires, tubes,” said Genece Cooper of Bob’s Pedal Power. “We made sure the wheels were functioning, the brakes were working – just everything that entails making a safe bike.”
On a Brighter Path
Kelso is a great place to ride bikes; in fact, there’s a trail along the Coweeman River that’s perfect. The scenery is beautiful, and when the weather’s nice, families are out there all day – something the Kelso Lions wanted to preserve. “We really didn’t have the extra income to buy new bikes for the kids,” said local parent Nikki Kersenbrock. “They have been wanting new bikes for a couple of years.” Now, with the bikes donated by the Kelso Police Department, the Lions were able to make sure more kids were given the chance to ride.
An elementary school, a bicycle shop and the local police.
In all, the cost for the repairs, helmets and new bikes was less than US$2,000. But the happiness they brought to the children of Kelso is priceless.