Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Spinmas Wrap Up

Posted by Shawn Buddenhagen


Merry Spinmas was born from a simple idea. Bike + Deserving Child = Merry Spinmas. When we formed STC earlier this year, we intended to be more than just a multi-sport club. STC wanted to give back, and make a difference in our community. Merry Spinmas was a perfect fit.
Tyreese tearing it up.
I have had many wonderful Christmases during my life, but I always remember the occasions, when I recieved a new bike. I may be a little biased as leg shaving member of the cycling cult. The freedom to go where I wanted, under my own power has always appealed to me. The purpose of Merry Spinmas is the provide those same feelings of excitement, and encourage the kids to get outside and move around. The pressures of society now make it difficult for kids to just go outside and play. They are distracted by TV, video games, and youtube videos. I know just giving a child a bike will not completely change the behavior, but on a sunny afternoon they may look at the bike and decide they would rather go for a ride, than watch another rerun of Jersey Shore.

STC  partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Chesapeake, to recognize deserving children in their programs, and distribute the bikes and helmets. The Boys and Girls Club serves many students from a low socioeconomic status by offering program activities in the following five areas: Character and Leadership, Education and Career Development, The Arts, Health and Life Skills, and Sports, Fitness & Recreation. The Boys and Girls Club programs provide a safe place in the community, where at-risk children can go and learn skills to help them excel in school, and in life.

To select the Merry Spinmas bike recipients, the students filled out a brief questionnaire. The questionnaire asked:
- What is the student’s “Dream Bike”?
- How would the student use a new bike?
- Height and weight measurements for sizing.

Along with input from the directors at the Boys and Girls Club, STC selected the sixteen children to receive the Merry Spinmas bikes and helmets. The bikes and helmets were purchased to match the description of their dream bike from the questionaire.


The initial funds for this year's Merry Spinmas came from prize money of the Mid Atlantic Club Championships. STC won the division three championship, and donated used the $1000 earned to finance the first ten bikes. The remaining funds were raised through the STC blog from corporate sponsors, and generous individual donations. STC would like to thank all of the donors. We are passionate about this cause, and your donations helped immensely bring this to a reality.

Merry Spinmas Corporate Sponsors:
Mid Atlantic Building Services
Towne Bank - Chesapeake
Old Virginia Realty
Helmet Sponsor:
East Coast Bikes

Bike Build
Mr. B head STC wrench
On December, 17, 2011, the first annual Merry Spinmas bike build was held. Shawn's garage was transformed into the assembly chamber of holiday cheer. Members of STC turned wrenches, pumped up tires, and made sure all of the bikes were assembled and working properly. Eight of the bikes were built from the box, and the other eight were partially built from the store, and needed a good check up. Everyone's mechanical appitude was tested by bmx rotors, and Chinese manufactered brakes.

The Big Day - Delivery of the bikes!

The Merry Spinmas Sleigh was loaded with all of the bikes, and headed for Truitt Intermediate school. The jolly members of STC unloaded the bikes behind one of the portables to avoid detection.

The children who were receiving the bikes were escorted into the portable. Jimmy quickly gave a mostly coherent talk about bike safety, and the program. (Jimmy had knee surgery four hours earlier, and was still medicated). The kids lined up at the door, and rushed outside to check out the new bikes.
Merry Spinmas Sleigh

The kids impatiently waited for the bikes and helmets to be adjusted, and then they were off into the adjacent field for a spin. The best moment of the day for me was when the youngest rider, Tyreese (7), asked us to remove the training wheels that came on his Disney Cars flamed bike. As soon as the training wheels were off, he was flying. The excitement and joy of seeing him fly around the park, summed up the whole purpose of Merry Spinmas.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their time, effort, and donations to make Merry Spinmas a success. STC plans to expand the program for 2012.

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