Free Bikes for Kids donation event a success through Allina

This year, 160 bikes were donated as part of the Free Bikes for Kids program of Cambridge Medical Center. Louise Nelson (picutred) unloads many of the bikes she collected throughout the summer to donate to the cause. The distribution event is Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon behind Riverwood Village next to Cambridge Medical Center.

This year, 160 bikes were donated as part of the Free Bikes for Kids program of Cambridge Medical Center. Louise Nelson (picutred) unloads many of the bikes she collected throughout the summer to donate to the cause. The distribution event is Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon behind Riverwood Village next to Cambridge Medical Center.

On Oct. 13, the Cambridge Medical Center and North Branch Clinic, a part of Allina Health, collected more than 160 bikes, which will be tuned up and given to families Dec. 7 just in time for Christmas.

“We had overwhelming support from the community this year,” said Nicole Klanderud, Cambridge Medical Center Community Engagement Manager.  “One example of this support was that of Louise and Loren Nelson of Cambridge.  Last year they donated two brand new bikes and this year starting in August the couple went from garage sale to garage sale purchasing gently used bikes to donate. Their kindness is appreciated.”

“We wanted to be able to help more kids this year,” Louise Nelson said.

This is the third year Cambridge Medical Center has done Free Bikes 4 Kidz and has partnered with K.C. Bohn, owner of Outdoor Edge in Cambridge, and Tom Conolly, owner of Tom’s Bike Shop in Stark, to do all the tune-ups on the bikes that need a bit of maintenance.

“We are happy to get the bikes back into working order,” Bohn said.

Bohn said that for him, the distribution is also a great way to get unused bicycles back out on the road again.

“K.C. and Tom have been great in helping to fix and clean up the bikes,” Klanderud said. “We could not do this without their help.”

This Allina Health initiative is also a way of encouraging healthier living, emphasizing the importance of physical exercise and families coming together, Klanderud said.

Klanderud said people should contact her at Cambridge Medical Center, 763-688-7913, or e-mail nicole.klanderud@allina.com, if they know of anyone in need of a bike. She encourages calling ahead so they know an approximate number for turnout.

The bikes will be distributed behind Riverwood Village in the employee parking lot, which is located next to Cambridge Medical Center on Dellwood Street in Cambridge.

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