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On a pleasant Saturday in early May, over a hundred children and their parents, came to Delfino Park , White Plains for the 2014 Jill E. Solomon Bike Helmet Day. The kids came to get new bike helmets, have their bikes check, instructions for safe riding and rules of the road. An added bonus, any child who can’t ride a bike, is taught to ride for the first time.
This very successful program is sponsored by the White Plains Rec. & Parks Dept., for the children of White Plains. All helmets are donated free of charge by the Jill E. Solomon Foundation. The event is staff by 30 volunteers, from the bike clubs, Unione Sportiva Italiana (USI) & Westchester Cycle Club (WCC) and the Solomon Foundation. The kids go through a series of manned stations, each with a mission to improve safety and awareness. When the stations are complete, each child receive a certificate and a prize (safety bell, etc.).
One of the most rewarding assignments is teaching children to ride for the first time. First time riders have their bike pedals removed. At the ‘Learn to Ride’ station, the kids are taught to balance and glideon the bike. By the end of the event, half of first timers, have mastered balance and are riding. The best testimony of this program was from a mother of a little to volunteer Sherri Tiesi. Sherri taught the little girl to ride three years ago.. No better recommendation than a repeat customer.
A big thank you was given to all the volunteers from the White Plains officials, including Mayor Tom Roach. I want to add my gratitude to the volunteers from USI & WCC, for selflessly giving their time and skills to this great cause. The volunteers were:
A big thank you to bike mechanics, Rob Schwartz (Hickory & Tweed) and Greg Tembeck (CycleWorks), who handle any bike issue.
Following the program, a few of the volunteers did a fun ride to enjoy the great weather and share stories.
Mark J. Lalloo