“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success.” Henry Ford
Those words sum up exactly what the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce was able to do in two months’ time. Through a collective community effort, the greater Joplin community banded together to raise the funds needed to bring the Kindergarten PE Program to every school in the Joplin School District.
So how did this community successfully raise $33,000 dollars to fund the All Kids Bike program for every Joplin Elementary School? Well, for them it was easy, the Chamber of Commerce rallied local businesses and individuals who believe ALL children in their community should have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike.
Erin Slivka of the Chamber of Commerce, said “It was simple, this program builds confidence. It gets kids out and getting active and gets them on a bike, and that is a lifelong skill that they can take with them. This was a collaborative effort of businesses, families, and individuals committed to seeing kids get active!”
The check presentation took place Tuesday, November 5th at Cecil Floyd Elementary and this was not any ordinary “oversized check” presentation. Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce invited professional bike riders John Andrus, Chuck Dodge, and Darrel of “Stunt Dudes” to perform and they delivered a great message: biking is a neat way to have fun and get healthy. They also shared how their love of riding bikes led them to a job they now love. These guys and girls get to perform all over the world, not just the country, and share their passion with so many kids and adults. John Andus told students how his job enables him to share a message of hope and peace across the globe. His passion for using bikes as a way of communicating with people and bringing joy left an impact on the students in the audience.
John Hunter, Ambassador of All Kids Bike and President of Progressive Bike Ramps, helped coordinate this community effort. John Hunter shared how riding a bike is FUN, a great way to stay healthy, and could be a possible fun career.
How long did it take this community to raise $33,000? Two months. Yes, you read that correctly: only two months. This is a community committed to providing every child with the best opportunity to learn a variety of new skills and riding bikes is a priority.
The Chamber of Commerce discussed how kindergartners learning to ride can translate into kids exercising more often and supporting a lifetime of wellness.
They also made sure to thank the donors for sharing in the desire to get kids healthy, those companies include: CGA Architects, Crossland Construction Company Inc., Allgeier, Martin and Associates Inc., Progressive Bike Ramps, CFI Truckload, Stealth Creative, JOMO Adventures, and Urban Cycling Apparel. This community effort proves that goals can become realities when you work together.
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Henry Ford
If you want to find out more about how you can bring the All Kids Bike Program to your elementary school, contact one of our All Kids Bike staff today to help get you started. (photo from KZRG News)