PHOTOS: Community wellness initiative gives away 150 bicycles to Pottstown children

Pottstown Police Officer Brandon Unruh leads a groups of students to a bike safety course they must complete before taking home the free bicycles they’re riding on. The bike giveaway was at Pottstown Middle School.
Pottstown Police Officer Brandon Unruh leads a groups of students to a bike safety course they must complete before taking home the free bicycles they’re riding on. The bike giveaway was at Pottstown Middle School. Michilea Patterson — Digital First Media

A giveaway put healthy actions into motion when 150 children received a brand new Huffy bicycle for free at Pottstown Middle School.

A community wellness initiative called Strong at Heart held a bike rodeo with Pottstown School District students for the second year in a row. Last year, the group donated 100 bicycles to children in the area and this year they increased that number by 50. Strong at Heart is made up of area organizations, schools and churches that came together for youth outreach and to promote health in Pottstown.

The students had a few mandatory tasks before they could ride home on their new, bright green bike. First, they had to write an essay on what it means to be “Pottstown Proud.” Then they did a bike safety course with Pottstown Police Officer Brandon Unruh.

The last task was to join a group ride through the neighborhood which was led by Twila Fisher, The Hill School’s manager of community and economic development. Fisher is a member of Strong at Heart and participates in a Mobile Ambassador Project in the area.

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The June 3 bike rodeo was also a community event for families that attended. There was music and free food. Ron Miller of “In Ian’s Boots” gave out free tennis shoes to children so they would have the proper footwear needed to ride a bike.

Strong at Heart will have more upcoming community events and another bike giveaway for area students next year. For more information about the initiative, visit the website at SAHPottstown.com.

The Mercury is engaged in a long-term effort, Fit for Life, designed to promote healthy living. In addition to articles in the newspaper and on our website, Fit for Life features a blog with recipes, health tips such as getting fit without breaking the bank and other tools all available free online. Visit the website at pottsmercfit4life.com, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MercFit4Life and follow our efforts on Twitter twitter.com/mercfit4life @MercFit4Life. Michilea Patterson is the Fit for Life reporter and is funded in part by the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.