FITTERS BIKES FOR TIKES
Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2014
FITTERS BIKES FOR TIKES
UA Local 598 Plumbers and Steamfitters and their Signatory Contractors would like thank everyone involved in helping bring a smile to the face of 1,840 children this Christmas.
“Fitters Bikes for Tikes” continues to grow each year. We started the first year with 121 bikes, grew to 522 bikes the second year, more than 1,100 the third year, over 1,700 last year, and 1,840 this year. Each bike includes a bike helmet for the proud new owner.
The bikes were purchased by Local 598 and their Signatory Contractors, Local 598 members, Bechtel employees at the Vitrification Plant and other Local 598 jobsites. Donations also came from local businesses and the community. More than 1,000 completed bikes were then handed over to the Marines’ Toys for Tots for distribution to the kids. The remaining bikes were donated to other various local charities and schools.
Local 598 members were joined by more than 300 students from seven schools to uncrate and assemble 1,700 bikes. The build took place at Benton Franklin County Fairgrounds on the morning of December 12th. It took less than five hours to complete the 1,700 bikes. The remaining bikes were given unassembled and delivered to schools in small towns surrounding Tri-Cities. Most of the students had never assembled a bicycle so each work station had a craftsman there to teach the students. By the end of the build, these high school students had gained a new-found confidence in building things with their hands. We would like to thank the participating schools that supplied Santa’s helpers; Richland High School, Kiona-Benton City High School, Hanford High School, Liberty Christian School, Kamiakin High School, Southridge High School, and Tri-Tech Vocational School.
Among the many community volunteers who helped at the bike build were Local Building and Metal Trade Union members, Bechtel employees, Energy Northwest employees, Areva employees, Shriners, United Way Young Leaders Society, Richland Police, Richland Firefighters and various local business and government officials. A hot lunch was donated and served to the crew by Country Gentlemen Restaurant.
UA Local 598 and their Signatory Contractors would like to thank all of those involved in the bike build and those involved in the fundraising effort to purchase the bikes and helmets. Many thanks to the community and all those who came together to make a Happy Holiday Season for so many kids! Merry Christmas~!