Participants Enjoy Inaugural Adaptive Bicycle Derby

Karns City High School student and Hospital Volunteer Kaylee Schill of Cowansville (third from left) raised money through “ReCycling for Cycling” with the help of ACMH and CEO John Lewis (on right end). About $800 was collected before the tentative date for the bike derby May 10 before officials gave a $1,800 check to “Variety” CEO Charlie LaValle Saturday. (submitted photo)

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ACMH Hospital held the first-annual Adaptive Bicycle Derby for local special needs children and their families on Saturday, May 17. The derby allowed the children to participate in various races using their new bicycles that were provided by the “My Bike” program, a charity designed by “Variety” the Children’s Charity that specifically works with local special needs children.

“Variety” has a mission with “My Bike” to grant “access” and “freedom” of mobility to youth in need.

Children and parents alike found that the goal of the derby was achieved. The kids were given desired mobility and, according to participant Adara Bearer, they had fun doing it. When asked if she had a good time, Bearer responded with a nod, a smile and said “I did good!”

Parents also expressed appreciation and shared thoughts on the importance of the event. “It’s so much fun, and it just gives them [her daughters] one more opportunity to be like everybody else,” Adara’s mother Rhonda Bearer said. “They can ride with their friends now.”

Schill collected cans through “ReCycling for Cycling” and she also collected monetary donations with the ultimate goal of raising enough money to purchase a new bicycle. Through the efforts of Kaylee and ACMH Hospital, enough money was raised for one bicycle. At the conclusion of the derby, Schill presented LaValle with a check totaling $1,800 on behalf of ACMH Hospital and CEO John Lewis.

ACMH officials plan to not only sponsor more derbies, but help more adaptive children in the future.