UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Despite pleas to the public, Utica Safe Schools says they are still in desperate need of bikes and bike parts for their upcoming Build-A-Bike Giveaway.
The event, which gives out repaired bikes to local children, is scheduled for April 27 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
"We're just not where we need to be for our giveaway," said Dave Buck, Build-A-Bike Coordinator. "Last year we gave away 671 bikes and we want to be as successful this year. We're just not there with the bikes that we need to, to be prepared for that day."
Organizers say they are looking for monetary donations, bike mechanics, bikes or even bike parts.
"People say 'Hey, I got a bike missing a wheel will you take it?'" Absolutely! We'll find a another wheel to do it. That's what it's about - Build-A-Bike," said Buck.
With the 8th annual Build-A-Bike event just two weeks away, coordinators are getting nervous, saying that their biggest fear is having to turn kids away.
"You look at the economic times, there's just no more money out there," Buck said. "The people, the caregivers don't have money to give out and say 'I'm going to buy you a bike,' 'I'm going to give you a bike, so this is huge for the community. It's our way of giving back to the community and for some of these kids, it's their only mode of transportation."
A Bike Collection Day is taking place Saturday, April 13th from 9 am - 2 pm at the following locations:
- The Shoppes at the Finish Line, 809 Court St. Utica.
- Clinton Agway, 9 Kirkland Ave., Clinton.
- The 40 & 8 Club, 5163 Judd Road, Whitesboro.
- New Hartford Rec Center, 1 Mill St., New Hartford.
They're also asking for anyone to help repair the bikes to come help out. To make a monetary donation or for more information call Utica Safe Schools at 315-735-1345 or visit their website at www.usshealthystudents.org .