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Today was the annual Turning Wheels for Kids in downtown San Jose.
http://www.turningwheelsforkids.org/

But with the bad economy, huge bike price increases, etc, etc...
the event was still spectacular. The generosity was overflowing.

Over a thousand bikes were donated and built today to various causes. $36k was raised today and a whole lot of love was in the air.

Team mtbr, romp, passion, wrong way, mere mortals and many others were there. This event is annual and is not publicized much on these boards because there are so many volunteers. Next year though, we need a lot more experienced mechanics for QA.

fc
 

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Turning Wheels For Kids - 4 minute video

Hey MTBR family,

http://gallery.me.com/ronaclan/100327

Here's a little 4 minute highlight reel of the days events. I feel honored to have been able to participate and contribute a small part in helping these deserving kids have a chance to experience the joy of riding this holiday season and throughout the year. This event is a beautiful manifestation of how the bay area cycling community smiles and selflessly moves to action.

http://gallery.me.com/ronaclan/100327
 

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Older than I feel
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It was good to run into a lot of friends at the bike build. I led a crew from Mere Mortals. (That's me in the turquoise sweatshirt on the left.) We were next to the MTBR crew and Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. ROMP was there, Passion Trail Bikes, etc.

I managed to screw together 5 or 6 bikes. Multiply that by 600 and you have some idea how big this event was!

BTW, Francis, the total money raised was over $40K by the time I left!
 

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Fun stuff today. I'm super tired from wrenching all day.
Already looking forward to next year.

switchbaxr said:
Hey MTBR family,

http://gallery.me.com/ronaclan/100327

Here's a little 4 minute highlight reel of the days events. I feel honored to have been able to participate and contribute a small part in helping these deserving kids have a chance to experience the joy of riding this holiday season and throughout the year. This event is a beautiful manifestation of how the bay area cycling community smiles and selflessly moves to action.

http://gallery.me.com/ronaclan/100327
Ron,
Awesome video! It put a smile on my face.
I think you've found your calling with these videos you're producing.
 

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Thanks Dan!

dan51 said:
Fun stuff today. I'm super tired from wrenching all day.
Already looking forward to next year.

Ron,
Awesome video! It put a smile on my face.
I think you've found your calling with these videos you're producing.
Well if it put a smile on your face then, it was worth the effort :)
I definitely enjoyed seeing the smile on all those kids faces today too!
 

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Mtbr Founder
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
switchbaxr said:
Hey MTBR family,

http://gallery.me.com/ronaclan/100327

Here's a little 4 minute highlight reel of the days events. I feel honored to have been able to participate and contribute a small part in helping these deserving kids have a chance to experience the joy of riding this holiday season and throughout the year. This event is a beautiful manifestation of how the bay area cycling community smiles and selflessly moves to action.

http://gallery.me.com/ronaclan/100327
Hey, good to see you out there Ron. You're a natural with those kids!

I can't view your video even after 30+ minutes of downloading from gallery.me.com. You might want to upload somewhere else too as an alternative.

fc
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Background:

Hundreds Help Build Bikes For Needy Kids Thousands of bikes will be assembled and donated to charity
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Hundreds-Help-Build-Bikes-For-Needy-Kids.html

Hundreds of volunteers will gather in San Jose this morning as part of an annual effort to assemble thousands of bicycles for low-income children who have a high risk of obesity.

Turning Wheels for Kids, a program of the Valley Medical Center Foundation, will offer Bike Build 2008 for more than 600 volunteers to build thousands of bikes for charities to distribute to low-income children, Turning Wheels director Sue Runsvold said.

Runsvold said she started building bikes for disadvantaged children during the holiday season as a personal effort in 2003. She bought 12 bikes after raising money about a week before Christmas.

After starting fundraising earlier the next year, Runsvold purchased 40 bikes and realized she could expand even further.

Runsvold, a nurse at Valley Medical Center, assembled a team of 10 people and her group became an official nonprofit organization under the Valley Medical Center Foundation.

"It started as good will during the holiday season," she said of the project's roots.

Turning Wheels focused on providing bikes to low-income children, but did not want to work on qualifying families.

Pairing with local charities to distribute the assembled bikes to children in need has worked well, Runsvold said. Keeping administrative costs low has also allowed Turning Wheels to spend all donations on bikes, locks and helmets, she said.

The program started as a holiday gift-giving venture, a component Runsvold said is important.

"Many years ago I would've been one of the kids who got one of these bikes," she said. "I used to worry I would have to lie or say nothing when asked what I got for Christmas. It comes full circle that way."

Runsvold said she also finds a common thread with the charities that give Turning Wheels bikes to families with one parent in prison, as her father was in prison.

The second part of the Turning Wheels story came about when Runsvold connected her job as a nurse with her charitable work.

"I am by trade a nurse and was aware of the issue of childhood obesity," she said. "The more I got involved the more I realized there is a connection there."

"Most of the parents love their children, but they don't have the means to provide for them exercise," she added. "This is a simple tool they can use for them to get outside."

Runsvold said in addition to the health dangers of childhood obesity, low self-esteem amongst obese children can lead to problems such as drug use, gang involvement and teen pregnancy.

Purchasing and assembling bikes became a year-round effort as part of the fight against childhood obesity within low-income areas, Runsvold said.

Still, the major push comes at Christmas. Of the roughly 2,400 bikes Turning Wheels will purchase, assemble and donate this year, about 2,100 will be assembled and distributed to charity organizations on Saturday.

Volunteers will gather at today at the McEnery Convention Center's South Hall, a room rented by Team San Jose and donated to Turning Wheels. After assembling the fleet of bicycles, charities will come by to retrieve the bikes.

One group of about 30 children will be allowed to handpick bicycles from the group of assembled bikes today, thanks to Variety Children's Charity of Northern California and the County of Santa Clara, variety's executive director Ellen Goodman said.

Goodman said the children are clients of the county's Department of Child Support Services.

"They are our first choice when we look for kids who are recipients," she said. "It's really the special event that brings excitement for the holidays."

The children, their siblings and families will attend helmet fitting and education before being fitted for their bikes. She said the bicycles are a wonderful way to provide exercise for disadvantaged children to exercise and stay out of trouble.

"There are so many families that are suffering more than ever, the timing of this particular event couldn't be better," Goodman said.

Despite rough economic times, Runsvold said donors and volunteers have been especially generous this year. She said Turning Wheels' annual budget is about $200,000 to purchase bikes and helmets. Providing locks for all recipients is a goal Runsvold hopes will be realized when the cost of bikes falls again after a 30 percent spike in prices this year.

"It was a challenging year but we're there," she said. "I feel very fortunate that people are stepping up."
 

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switchbaxr said:
Hey MTBR family,

http://gallery.me.com/ronaclan/100327

Here's a little 4 minute highlight reel of the days events. I feel honored to have been able to participate and contribute a small part in helping these deserving kids have a chance to experience the joy of riding this holiday season and throughout the year. This event is a beautiful manifestation of how the bay area cycling community smiles and selflessly moves to action.

http://gallery.me.com/ronaclan/100327
Hey switchbaxr!

This is Deborah from TurningWheels and we love your video! Very nice job capturing the day! Would you mind very much if we used your video on our website and facebook?? We may want to even tap your talents next year! You turned that out so well and so fast!:thumbsup:

and francois, thank you for your kind words, we are constantly working on making the event better every year, so we appreciate your suggestion very much!

Thanks to everyone else who came out to help, you make it all possible! If any of you want to be placed on our mailing list for early notification next year, just email me @ [email protected]. Thanks!!

Deborah Lemberger
Asst. Director
TWFK
 

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Seeing the excitement and joy in the kids faces when they pick up there bikes makes this event so worthwhile for us. Carmen and I had a great time again this year and hope to be back next year.:)

Ron, Awesome job on the video....!!! :thumbsup:




BTW: I think TWFK needs some help on bike selections,

The large full suspension " Red Mountain Bike " quality was poor, I'm sure the bike is a big hit on the bling factor with the kids, But It's going to need adjustments every other ride for shifting problems with the poor quality derailleurs and brakes and it just won't last.

I think they would be better off with more of the large Diamondback Hardtails, I have to believe they are a less expensive bike for them to buy and better quality.





This is the infamous :madman: " Mountain Bike " :madman: anyone one that worked on one knows what I'm talking about.
 

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Francis, try copy pasting the link instead of clicking on it

francois said:
Hey, good to see you out there Ron. You're a natural with those kids!

I can't view your video even after 30+ minutes of downloading from gallery.me.com. You might want to upload somewhere else too as an alternative.

fc
Francis,

I tried clicking the link and ran into the same problem, but when I copy pasted the link it started to stream just fine...I'm not super techy so don't know why that's the case. I'll try doing a youtube and post that after the kids go to beddy bye tonight:)

Ron
 

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Thanks Deborah!

dlemberger said:
Hey switchbaxr!

This is Deborah from TurningWheels and we love your video! Very nice job capturing the day! Would you mind very much if we used your video on our website and facebook??
Deborah Lemberger
Asst. Director
TWFK
Deborah,

Wow:) I'm just an amateur hobbyist, but it would be my honor to have your organization use this footage. I'll send you an email so we can coordinate delivery of the footage.

And thanks to jeffh for your nice comments on the video, you all saw the faces of the children as they picked up their bikes and you really understand how we can change the world one bike at a time...I think you'll all agree that supporting this cause is right in our collective "wheelhouse" :)

Best Regards,
Switchbaxr
 

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sue, turningwheels for kids

okay, so here's my$.02! right on deb ~ switchbaxr, your video was GREEEEEAT! i was so tired i was asleep at 9 last night and sorta wakin' up now ~ finally! so i am curious ~ how did you get that done so fast? thank you and great job. can't wait to post it on our website! you really are creative and captured the day. loved the interviews! okay, i gotta go post a blog! you and deb figure out the how or this!
sus
 
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