By JEFF SWANSON
Daily Press writer
Thanks to the efforts by the employees at Trapper Mine, some children in Craig will be riding high next spring.
In a combined effort with the Craig Police Department, United Way and Severson Supply Company, mine employees began the first Adopt-A-Bike Program.
The program allows mine employees to adopt one of the numerous bicycles impounded by the Craig Police Department over the last year. After adopting the bikes, employees fixed them up so they could be given away to a needy child.
"We had a program similar to this in the past, but nothing by such a large group," Craig Police Department Investigative Technician Michelle Anderson said. "We had someone who lived here who used to do it for us, but he moved to Montrose last year. He had always done it in anonymity, and didn't want people to know that he was doing this for kids.
"That was one of the stipulations of keeping the program going as long as he was doing it," she said. "He said that someone had done something similar for him when he was younger, and he wanted to do the same for some of the local kids."
After the unnamed good samaritan moved from Craig, Anderson was forced to search for an alternative solution.
Without a program in place, the CPD would be forced to sell the bicycles for a small price at the annual police auction.
"When we used to sell the bikes at auction, we would only get about $5 for them," she said. "We really didn't want to have to just get rid of them that cheap, so I contacted Roy McAnally at Trapper Mine to see about helping us out."
McAnally enlisted the assistance of fellow employees, who adopted the bikes, and repaired and refurbished them to an almost-new condition.
This year 21 bicycles will be given away to needy children at Christmas time through the program.
"We think it is just a great program," McAnally said. "The guys out here really did a super job fixing the bikes, and some of them almost look as if they have been repaired to new condition again.
"We also had a few that couldn't be repaired because they were so beat up, so we ended up purchasing about 4 or 5 of them," he said. "Don Severson also took about five bikes and repaired them as well. It has been great for the employees, and also great for the kids in the community."
In addition to the bicycles, which will be distributed as part of the Christmas for Kids Program, J&R Cyclery will donate a $20 gift certificate, so the children who receive the bikes will be able to purchase helmets at a discounted rate.
"If we are going to provide the bikes, we really want the kids to be safe on them," McAnally said. "The last thing we want is to have them go out and get hurt."