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Orange County Bicycle Club's bike donations helped make a happy holiday season


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  • Photos provided Don Karlewicz, left, club treasurer; Sharon Williams, Big Brothers/Big Sisters executive director; Brian Dunleavy, Joe Fix It’s; Shaun Hamilton, Joe's Fix It's; Peggy Cullen, club vice president; and club president Bill Stelz with the bikes that were presented to Big Brothers/Big Sisters.




  • Rich Cruet, left, owner of The Bicycle Doctor; Don Karlewicz, club treasurer; Carol Kalajian, club volunteer; Pastor Rosey Andrews of Northeast Gateway to Freedom; with bicycle recipients Yazzari Reynolds and Tionna Lawrence and the bikes presented to Northeast Gateway to Freedom.



— The Orange County Bicycle Club's charity work again helped to make the recent holiday season a happy one for disadvantaged children.

“All of us have children in our own lives and know how important the holiday season is to them," said Monroe resident and club president Bill Stelz. "And it's a reminder to us that there are children who don't have the same advantages that ours might have. Or that there are adults who might be challenged financially and can't create a memorable holiday season. We made a commitment to blend our group's love of cycling with the importance of giving back."

In December, Stelz, Florida resident and club treasurer Don Karlewicz and Goshen resident and club vice president Peggy Cullen were part of a group presenting bicycles and related equipment to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County, which was accepted by Executive Director Sharon Williams.

Brian Dunleavy of Goshen and owner of Joe Fix Its made all the arrangements and assembled the bikes.

Also last month, Karlewicz Carol Kalaijian of Goshen, a club volunteer, were part of a group presenting bicycles and related equipment to the Northeast Gateway to Freedom, which were accepted by Pastor Rosey Andrews.

Rich Cruet, longtime club member and owner of the Bicycle Doctor bike shop in Middletown, made all of the arrangements and assembled the bikes.

Stelz acknowledged Cruet's and Dunlevy's interest in being a part of their effort to help others.

“We’re happy to make these donations so adults and kids who can’t afford to purchase biking equipment can now be part of the healthy cycling experience," Stelz added. "Cycling is a great, aerobic activity that anyone can do. You don't have to be a competitive cyclist, you can be a recreational bike rider. Getting outdoors and temporarily away from technology is great for one's frame of mind."

Essential informationThe club promotes active lifestyles and advocates for healthier, happier, better connected communities through cycling. More than 250 active members, from beginners to advanced, bike Orange County country roads throughout the year.

The bike club has donated more than 50 bicycles to youth organizations throughout Orange County.

To join or learn more, visit: http://www.ocbicycleclub.org.

- Nancy Kriz

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