Christmas Bikes Program:
Since the club’s inception in 2005, the nucleus of PAC has always been comprised of individuals with generous and giving hearts. By the time the club’s first Christmas season rolled around, it was no surprise that members started coming up with ideas for getting bicycles and giving them to children in need. During those years, one of our members was associated with the school system and suggested we contact a school family resource office to determine how we could reach these children. Contacts were made, bridges built, and that first year PAC gave five bicycles to children in need at Hopkins County schools.
We are proud to say we have been blessed enough to expand our giving each year by first reaching all elementary schools in Hopkins County, then expanding to the middle schools, and finally adding Dawson Springs. Thanks to generous donations, our initial goal became a commitment to give two bikes to each school, so a total of 30 bikes, and for the last several years we’ve included helmets. Since we were blessed enough to commit and surpass our goal of 30 bikes, we then set a stretch goal of 50 bikes. We are proud to say we met and surpassed that goal one Christmas by placing 51 bikes.
In addition to our Christmas endeavors, we have donated bikes to several other causes and events, such as the Kid’s Bicycle Rodeo at Baptist Health, and for the last two years we have donated a bike to a Veteran, in need of a mode of transportation, on Veterans Day.
Each year PAC has a bicycle tour, named “The PAC Challenge,” that takes participating riders over some of the most pristine and challenging roads in Western Kentucky. It’s a ride for fee event with varying distances from 20 to 60 miles. PAC members support participants with rest stops, stocked with nutritious and healthy snacks and water, and on the road maintenance as needed. When possible, PAC will have drawings for a small prizes and every rider of The PAC Challenge is given a nice goodie bag to take home. Over the years we have seen participant levels grow from the first year, when we only had 12 riders, to a year when we hosted over 100 riders. Typically we average 65 to 75 riders, but we would like to grow this event to the 200+ participant levels enjoyed by other bicycle tours in our area. The entry fees for The PAC Challenge cover our expenses, so the sponsorship and donations we receive can go directly to the purchase of the bicycles and helmets for children.
We all know that our first bike was our first taste of freedom and independence, so it is with great pride and gratitude that PAC continues this worthwhile cause for years to come.
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” John F. Kennedy