The 2020 Sumter County Sheriff’s Bicycle Collection (designed and funded by Sheriff Bill Farmer) has succeeded in collecting and distributing over 300 bicycles. Here is what villagers have done for the children and some adults in Sumter County:
• 91 new in the box children’s bikes were donated by individual Villagers (including 3 Villagers who gifted the collection with significant cash donations). All were assembled by 41 volunteers from The Villages bicycle community. A huge number of gently used bicycles were delivered to the front door of the Villages Commanders office on Morse and CR466. These were stored until the day of the collection. Also, thank you to the storage facilities on CR 466 that allowed us to use their facilities as a holding area.
• 41 volunteers from The Villages bicycle community (Sumter Landing Bicycle Club, The Village Bicycle Club and the Panthers Tandem Bicycle Club) worked their magic on collecting, fixing and beautifying the donated bikes at the Lake Miona Recreation Center (thanks to The Villages Recreation Department).
• Several sheriff’s deputies worked the whole day on the logistics of delivering stored bikes to the Lake Miona Recreation Center as well as delivering the new and refurbished bikes (more than 300) to the designated distribution locations around Sumter County.
• Every dollar of your cash donations received went toward the purchase of new children’s bikes.
For the first time, Villagers gave checks to the tax deductible Sumter County Sheriff’s Benevolent Fund Bicycle Charity. An increased number of new bicycles will be purchased as the fund grows over the next few years. Unfortunately, Covid-19 limited the number of children’s bikes available from area big box stores in 2020.
I proudly say this again for 2020… Thank you Villagers!
Dave Lawrence is a leader in The Villages bicycling community.