Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative Helps Get Kids on Bikes with $10,000 Donation from Morgantown Board of REALTORS®
18 new bikes are available through Youth Cycling Coalition programs
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — The Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development collaborative purchased 18 new bikes for Youth Cycling Coalition participants through a $10,000 donation from the Morgantown Board of REALTORS®.
The ten cycling nonprofits that make up the Youth Cycling Coalition recently launched a pilot of collective youth cycling programming in Morgantown. The Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative supports the coalition through programming implementation and data analysis, and connected with the local board of realtors for the donation.
“We want to make sure people understand that we’re not just out here selling houses. It’s important to each of us to give back to the community,” Stephanie Lemley, President of the Morgantown Board of REALTORS® says. “Anything we can do for children is near and dear to our hearts, and we thought this was a great opportunity.”
The donation directly supports the coalition’s mission to foster a love of cycling in today’s youth with the purchase of 18 new bikes that are now available for participants.
If a child arrives without a bike or with a broken piece of equipment, the Youth Cycling Coalition along with additional programs and local supporters want to ensure that they would not go without. A separate youth cycling nonprofit, Outride, was able to provide all 18 of the bikes. Local bike retailer Wamsley Cycles’ general manager Colin Dierman donated staff and labor time to build and house each bike for free and assist with ongoing maintenance and repairs.
“We’re so thankful for the energy behind the cycling community in Morgantown and the priority being placed on getting youth involved,” says Andrew Hoover, Director of the Smith OEDC’s Science Behind the Sport. “During YCC programs, or when there’s groundbreaking for a new trail network, these bikes will be available for kids to ride. We want to make sure that every child has the opportunity to get on a solid bike when they participate—and riding a new bike that’s in good repair really changes everything.”
That’s the mission of the YCC after all: to take collective action for all kids to access, experience and develop a lifelong love of bicycling, ultimately fostering the integration of cycling into the fabric of local communities.
“The support and enthusiasm that the YCC received from the community in Morgantown really set them apart from the others when we were on the search for our pilot city,” said Kat Andrus, director of the Youth Cycling Coalition. “We are excited to continue to connect with local biking advocates and leaders on the ground as we continue to roll out each of our programs in Morgantown."
Those interested in getting involved with the Youth Cycling Coalition can contact Kat at email@example.com. All volunteers are connected to a national support system as each organization is established in several other states. For more information on youth programming, visit youthcyclingcoalition.org.
About the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative
The Smith OEDC leverages West Virginia’s outdoor assets to ignite the state’s economy and enhance quality of life for West Virginians through outdoor recreation. Through alliances across West Virginia University, state and local governments, the outdoor industry, and related groups, the Smith OEDC works to stimulate and improve economic opportunity; inspire, educate, and develop West Virginia’s youth; and redefine West Virginia for its outdoor recreation assets and quality of life. Learn more at oedc.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Christina Petrilli
Outdoor Marketing & Communications Manager
Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative