Posted by Dora Dye on Apr 21, 2019
For the past 10 years, our Club has assembled new bikes and donated them to elementary school students in San Francisco. This year’s Annual Bike Build was held on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Bryant Elementary School in the Mission District. Sunny Singh was our leader in the Build. Long before Saturday, he had set up this event, obtained the necessary permit, ordered the bikes, and visited San Francisco schools to work with the administration and find the kids who would like to have a bike. Three cheers for Sunny!
At about 7 AM, a truck filled with new bikes in boxes arrived at the school. Rotarians and their families, Interactors, and Rotaractors arrived and began the task of unloading the bikes and organizing them by type and size. Before assembly actually started, Club President Rhonda Poppen called a brief meeting and even snuck in a Paul Harris award to Carla Walter.
Everyone got to work, cutting open boxes, laying out the parts, and assembling them. Once assembled, each bike was carefully inspected by our Quality Control team to ensure that all screws were tight, air was in the tires, and the parts were properly aligned. In less than 2 hours, about 100 bikes were assembled. Club members donating muscle, time and enthusiasm to the Build were: Casey Blair, Flora Burke, Cecile Chiquette, Adrienne Cool, Christopher Davies, John Dean, Susan Dean, David Dye, Dora Dye, JT Forbus, Greg Gutting, Rachel Kantosky, Gary Keener, Brian Lan, Jennifer Lee, Alisha Marfatia, John Mathers, Irena Matijas, Kathryn McCall, Jim Patrick, Madison Pauly, Scott Plakun, Rhonda Poppen, Bill Poppen, Sunny Singh, Carla Walter, and Erik Walter.
Interactors from George Washington, Lowell, and St. Ignatius high schools came to help. Also joining was Gabriella Lobo, a Rotaractor from the newly formed Rotaract club of San Francisco. Our special guest was Josie McHale, Interact District Chair for Rotary District 5150 and past president of the Rotary Club of San Bruno.
The students from Bryant, Leonard Flynn, Hillcrest, Daniel Webster, and Marshall schools arrived around 11 AM with their families. Each child received a helmet, a lock, and a new bike. The Salvation Army truck arrived and served hot dogs, chips, and a drink to everyone at the event. Two police officers arrived to give a safety lesson to the children. The children rode their new bikes while parents and Rotarians visited. According to Laura Juarez Codicetti, the principal at Bryant Elementary, this was the first bike for many of these children.
This year's Bike Build attracted some media attention. Film crews from both KTVU and KRON interviewed President Rhonda, Principal Laura, and several others.