Thank you! Thanks to your overwhelming generosity, Community Bike Works raised $47,000 in support of our youth leadership programs at our recent 20th anniversary celebration.
We were pleased to welcome 220 guests to Coca-Cola Park on March 17 for Gearing Up for the Future, an event celebrating 20 years of our flagship Earn a Bike program.
Earn a Bike uses bicycles to teach life lessons to young people of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley; once students join, they can access programs including Earn a Book and Youth Leadership. During the event, stations around the room were designed to portray a student's journey through Community Bike Works, and guests had the opportunity to see students' work and speak with them about their experiences.
Congressman Charlie and Mrs. Pamela Dent were the evening's honorary co-chairs, and Rep. Dent described his support of Community Bike Works since programs began in 1995. The evening honored 20-year volunteers Gail McMakin and Mike and Claire Klatchak.
Also recognized were partners who have supported Community Bike Works for more than 10 years, and at a level above $100,000: Air Products, Just Born, the City of Allentown, the Harry C. Trexler Trust, and the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
The evening's program was emceed by Ashley Russo, executive producer and host of The PEAK TV, and Joshua Ortiz, an Earn a Bike graduate who is now a sophomore at Temple University. Current youth leaders Dayne Cruz, Michelle Wilson and Artheno Nelson described their experiences at Community Bike Works, and Executive Director Kim Schaffer spoke about the future of the organization and announced a college scholarship for alumni generously funded by Joan Schork and Mike Duncan.
Ray Starner served as auctioneer, and auction items included a handcrafted dovetail box by Bike Works graduate Kyle Cunningham.
The net $47,000 raised will allow the organization to hire additional youth apprentices; support a year-long leadership program for participants, with a dual focus on career planning and community engagement; and support the new youth scholarship.
The Volunteers of Earn a Bike, including Bob and Georgine Snyder, Bob and Susan Boehret, Karen and John Castaldo, Claire and Bob Aylward, Barry J. Hoffman Co, Inc, Pat Farrell and Val Johnson, Pete and Annette Mattiuz, and Emily and Bill Jones, came together as the evening's presenting sponsor.
Additional individual sponsors included board members Pat and Sandy Beldon, Nick and Andrea Mittica, and Saleem and Sabiha Mawji, as well as David and Kathy Leber, Mike Gausling, Joe and Karen Pietrantonio, and Judy and Larrie Sheftel.
Corporate sponsors included Air Products, UGI Utilities, PPL, Talen Energy, National Penn Bank, Rothrock Motors, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Boyle Construction, Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, Value Creation Initiatives, ASR Media/The PEAK TV and Liquid Interactive.
Also: Campbell, Rappold & Yurasits, Smart Juices, LLC, Natural Food Source/Nimeks, Lehigh Valley Carpenters Union, M&T Bank, Valley National Financial Advisors, The Swain School, Sunburst Property Management, and EBC Printing.
The host committee for the evening was chaired by Pat Beldon and included Fusun Bubernack, Cristina Galipeau, Mitch Hanna, David and Kathy Leber, Karen Pietrantonio, Judy Sheftel and Lauren Sorrentino.
Laura Zaharakis and Lara Kuhns chaired the event and auction committees.
The day after our celebration, one student who attended came to afterschool Drop-in wearing his new Bike Works t-shirt with his nametag still on. "I had a lot of fun," Chris said. He was proud that he had sold so many tickets for the bike we raffled off courtesy of Saucon Valley Bikes, and said he had learned a lot by participating.
AGAIN, THANK YOU. Please stay tuned. As we move into our third decade, there's lots on the horizon. We hope to be able to come to you soon with good news about how we'll be able to have even more of an impact, through bicycles, on the lives of the young people who need us most. We couldn't do it without you.
Kim Schaffer, Executive Director
Community Bike Works