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Participants of the Hank Bersani Memorial Bike Safety Event can get fitted for, and purchase, low-cost bike helmets as well as navigate a road safety course on Saturday.
September 11, 2012
MONMOUTH -- There are lessons to be learned now that school's back in session -- in the classroom and, for those who get around on two wheels, on the rules of the road.
Children and families can take part in the Hank Bersani Memorial Bike Safety Event on Saturday at Ash Creek Elementary School.
Participants will receive bike safety education, learn how to identify maintenance issues and have an opportunity to be fitted for and purchase low-cost bike helmets thanks to funding from local businesses and individual donations.
The program is being coordinated by the Monmouth-Independence Senior Advisory Board, with assistance from Western Oregon University's Student Enrichment Program.
"Kids are our main target, but if we see that parents need a helmet, they can get one, too," said Traci Weston, advisory board project coordinator.
The event will include a simulated road safety course, with stop signs and crosswalks participants will have to navigate.
There will also be a repair station to show people how to check their seat height and tires for air.
The helmets are $8 each. They were ordered from Helmets R Us, a national nonprofit organization that produces bike safety gear at discounted prices for schools and other organizations to distribute. Regular cost for the equipment is $16 to $25 apiece, Weston said.
Those who can't afford the $8 won't be turned away; they'll be asked to sign a pledge to do volunteer work a few hours helping neighbors, groups "or even just mom and dad," Weston said.
Weston said the hope is to have 200 helmets available, and opportunities to order more for attendees.
The senior advisory board does a gift giveaway for low-income families during the holiday season. A safety rodeo has been something the group has wanted to do for awhile, Weston said.
When WOU students took this on as a service project, there was manpower for a large-scale event, Weston said. There will be dozens of community and student volunteers assisting on Saturday.
"We want to get other groups involved and maybe keep this up as an annual event," Weston said.
The program has been named in honor of Hank Bersani, a WOU professor who was killed in a bike accident on Highway 99W in March.
"I think it all ties together quite nicely. Hank was such a bike advocate and was well known in Monmouth and at Western," said Lynda Bersani, Hank's wife. "This is something Hank would certainly want to support."
What: Hank Bersani Memorial Bike Safety Event.
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Ash Creek Elementary School, 1360 N. 16th St. in Monmouth.
For more information: 503-917-9181.