According to CycleMasters President, Kurt McMillen, “The most meaningful and charitable cause of approximately 200 members of CycleMasters is the purchase, assembly, and donation of bicycles to children.” This May, 15 bikes were donated to qualifying students at Mammoth-San Manuel School (kingergarten to seventh grade, one bike per grade level) and Mountain Vista School in Oracle (first to seventh grade, one bike per grade level). The recipients of the bikes are chosen by their teachers based primarily on the criteria of the “hardest working and most improved”. The children are not told in advance that they will be receiving bikes, so it is easy to imagine the excitement and pride the child feels upon hearing their name called!
Since 2007, CycleMasters has continued the tradition of donating bikes to deserving children. The idea of the program was brought to the club by Ken and Ellen Perkins after learning that Mammoth Elementary School once gave away bicycles as part of their awards program but had lost funding. The CycleMasters club felt that they could positively affect the children in this community by supporting a bike program. In 2017, Oracle was added. These two towns were supported by nearby copper mines. The closure of the mines severely affected the income of the families. It is reported that 90 percent of the children live in homes that meet the federal poverty criteria, therefore, there is often not money available for the purchase of bikes.
CycleMasters raises money to purchase new bikes by delivering the SaddleBrooke Progress. Both the Oro Valley Bike Shop and Raleigh contribute to the bike program by offering a 30 percent charitable discount.
The partnership between CycleMasters, the bike shop, and the staff of each school allows students in need to own a bike of their own! These bikes tell kids that their behavior, abilities, and determination have been noticed! It may also provide encouragement and motivation for those who will become future bike recipients!