Ambassadors Volunteer at Rick's Bike Sale
On Saturday, May 11, the Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador team volunteered at Rick's Bike Sale in Apple Valley. Commodore Ann Bailey and her husband Randy have been involved with Rick’s Bike Sale for at least the past seven years and wouldn’t miss it for anything!
Ann stated, "The best word to describe the day is 'joyful'. Hundreds of bikes for kids of all ages – and anyone trying out a new bike has a smile!"
The volunteers wore orange hats this year, to be found in the crowds, and impart their expertise on to the shoppers. The Ambassador team could be found talking with shoppers, keeping the bikes neatly organized, taking photos, and making sure the volunteers had water.
Ann explained the history of Rick's Bike Sale:
The story behind the sale is that Rick Anderson grew up with a difficult family situation. He ended up finding refuge at the Austin, MN bike store, learning how to repair bikes. As an adult looking back, he realized that the owner was a mentor for him. He and his wife Lise wanted to help other children similarly so they became mentors for Kids ‘n Kinship. Rick found that the young boys they mentored wanted to learn skills, so he started repairing bicycles with them. He’d buy garage sale bikes, fix them and give them to kids in the program. At some point, people started donating bikes for them to fix and he had so many that 11 years ago, he had a sale in his driveway and gave the money he raised to Kids ‘n Kinship. Fast forward about 5 years, and Randy had retired from teaching and answered an ad looking for more help “wrenching” and fixing up the donated bikes. As Rick and Lise got to know the Baileys and the DARTS organization, they liked the idea of the proceeds benefiting young and old, so DARTS was added as a recipient in 2018.
This year four mechanics refurbished over 700 bikes for sale and 691 sold! That was 250 more bikes than 2018. A record $63, 443 was awarded to DARTS and Kids ‘n Kinship. Remaining bikes were donated to other nonprofits or schools including many going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for their annual garage sale.