Organizational meeting Fri., Jan. 20, for fifth annual bicycle donation drive

For four years the George F. Johnson Dream Center for Community Empowerment has held an annual bike drive to collect and refurbish bicycles, which are then donated to Johnson City, N.Y, area youth.

Now it is time for the organizational meeting for its fifth annual bike drive. This will be a luncheon meeting on Friday, January 20, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Mainestreet Cafe at Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, 308 Main Street, Johnson City (across from the Post Office). If you are interested in helping to organize this year’s bike drive, please plan to attend this meeting.

The bike drive is held to help youth be able to attend youth development programs that are held at Sarah Jane Johnson Church and in Johnson City’s parks, as well as a free summer, noon lunch at the church. Area agencies are invited to refer youth ages 8 and up to the program.

Donated bicycles can be dropped off in the parking lot of Sarah Jane Johnson Church on Sunday mornings, Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and up until 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Ring the bell and leave the bike.

In 2006 the Dream Center began to encourage youth to become all they can be and make a difference in the manner and legacy of George F. Johnson. Through a partnership with the Southern Tier Bike Club, the annual bike drive has reconditioned more than 500 bikes for youth in four years and spurred other communities to begin similar programs.

For more information or sign up forms, contact: Patricia Cardin, (607) 797-3938, Ext. 113, or send an e-mail message to: gfjdreamcenter@hotmail.com.

A bike safety clinic is held each year as part of the giveaway. This year’s activity will take place on Saturday, May 12 , from 1 to 4 p.m. in the UHS parking lot adjacent to Sarah Jane Johnson Church.  To receive a bike, a youth must be referred in advance of the giveaway, take part in all safety aspects of the day, and agree to wear a helmet while riding the bike.

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