By Melissa Roy
As 2016 comes to a close and we welcome 2017, I’d like to share the great success of Macomb County’s
Eastside Bike Drive bike collection. As the first-ever county-wide bike drive, we are all immensely grateful for everyone who made phase one possible. From our members, partners and volunteers to the cities and
townships who provided collection points throughout the county. From inception to collection, the
community spirit rose with great enthusiasm throughout and around Macomb County.
Phase one yielded 800 bikes from eight communities across the county. Phase two will begin in January with two workshops to repair the bicycles – one in Mt. Clemens and another on the Detroit / Warren border.
Workshops will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from the beginning of January through the
end of March.
A big thanks to Rhonda Powell and Steve Schuster with Macomb County for hosting at The Family Resource
Center in Mt. Clemens. I believe we are using every square inch!
A big thanks to Tom Petzold for hosting at space at the Belmont Shopping Center. Tom and his head of
maintenance, Fred Wolfe, stepped up immediately to help out. They have been wonderfully hospitable and
provided great space!
As we move into phase two, a special note must be given to Gary Babich. Gary has been going to the bike
workshop every week to get the area prepped, the bikes sorted and identifying our primary needs for bike
repairs. He, his wife Helga and nephew have made great progress and are the very embodiment of community
On December 7th, 10 volunteers banded together to clear out two dumpsters of debris from the Belmont site. It was an amazing display of team work – thank you everyone!
A number of volunteers have signed up to man the workshops over the winter – thank you all! We are looking forward to working with everyone!
Advancing Macomb is fortunate to have great partners to make the bike drive possible. CARE of Southeast
Michigan, No Bike Left Behind, The Macomb YMCA, Leadership Macomb, The Macomb County Executive Office
and Thoughtful Missions Fundraising working together make this a great initiative.
A special note on Arnold Gomez and Gerry Paz from NBLB. They brought bike repair racks, set up work stations at the workshop and shared their intake system to get us rolling – thanks, guys!!
This would not have been possible without the enthusiastic participation of the cities and townships
throughout the county. A special thanks to the following individuals:
Deputy Clinton Township Supervisor Liz Vogel and Clinton Township Recreation Director Frank Pizzo
Liz and Frank’s enthusiasm was fun, positive and contagious! A huge thanks for not only collecting 200 bikes, but also being the best unofficial cheerleading squad a bike drive could ever ask for.
Macomb Township Supervisor, Janet Dunn Supervisor Dunn immediately made the first donation after the bike drive was announced at a summer MACRO (Macomb Area Communities for Regional Opportunities) meeting.
Roseville-Eastpointe Recreation Director Tony Lipinski and Cammie Kanakry
Tony and Cammie’s team collected almost 200 bikes. Combined with Clinton Township, these two
communities assembled about half of the total collected bikes.
A huge thanks to Brad Bates in Shelby Township, Kyle Langois in Sterling Heights, Brian Tingley & Jeff Wood in Mt. Clemens, Washington Township Supervisor Dan O’Leary and Harrison Township Supervisor Ken Verkest. All of these communities enthusiastically stepped up and even collected bikes beyond their designated collection times.
I would like to give a special thanks to Ken Koster and Larry Roy for doing several rounds of bike pick-ups. Without them, I would still be picking up bikes!
None of this would have been possible without the residents of Macomb County and neighboring
communities. The kind spirits throughout our communities donated their bicycles to give every kid a chance to know the pleasure and freedom of riding a bicycle. Thank you for your generosity and loving spirits!
Happy 2017 to all throughout Macomb and Metro Detroit!