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Kinsmen Club donates to United Way’s Bikes for Kids

New Glasgow Kinsmen Club president Brian MacIntosh presents April MacDonald, United Way Bikes for Kids co-ordinator, with a cheque for $1,000 to help the program.
New Glasgow Kinsmen Club president Brian MacIntosh presents April MacDonald, United Way Bikes for Kids co-ordinator, with a cheque for $1,000 to help the program. - Adam MacInnis

Brian MacIntosh believes one of the great joys of childhood is the feeling of riding a bicycle.

That’s why he was happy to be able to donate $1,000 on behalf of the Kinsmen Club of New Glasgow to the United Way’s Bikes for Kids campaign.

He hopes it will allow more kids the chance to have a bike.

“Every boy and girl should have that opportunity,” he said.

The Bikes for Kids campaign typically helps provide 100 bikes for youth each year who don’t have one.

“The money we get from the Kinsmen goes to provide helmets,” said Jessica Smith, United Way director. “Every bike we give away we give a brand-new helmet and a bell to make sure the kids are safe.”

The bikes themselves are typically donated by people in the community and repaired if necessary by volunteers. The United Way then connects with kids through schools and other avenues to let them know about the program. To receive a bike, parents or guardians fill out a simple application form which contains information to ensure the children receive the appropriate-sized bike. No financial information is required.

“Our goal is to make sure that everyone who wants one gets one,” Smith said.

The Kinsmen donation goes a long way to ensuring that happens.

The donation represents just a portion of the $90,000 that the Kinsmen have put back into Pictou County over the year. They also raise money to help cover the cost of running the Kinsmen baseball program as well as power skating lessons and other programs geared toward youth. A key fundraiser for these initiatives is the Kinsmen Eastlink TV bingo.

“We’ve very much committed to youth in Pictou County,” MacIntosh said.

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