Variety Partners with Speaker of the House Tim Miley, Oil/Gas Industry to Launch Its “My Bike” Program in Harrison County for Kids w/ Disabilities

What:

On Thursday, July 31st, Speaker of the House Tim Miley will join Variety the Children’s Charity to launch its “My Bike” Program in Harrison County in order to provide adaptive bikes to eligible children with disabilities who are unable to ride a conventional bike.

Variety will present 15 West Virginia children with their own customized adaptive bikes at the Bridgeport Conference Center while surrounded by family, friends and supporters of the program. With Thursday’s event, Variety will have presented a total of 54 bikes to children in West Virginia since “My Bike” kicked off on April 4th with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.

Variety is extremely grateful for the support of Harrison County natives Andy and Lisa Lang of Blue Dot Energy Services, who assisted in securing sponsorships for 15 adaptive bikes for Harrison County children (with the cost to sponsor one adaptive bike being $1,800). Furthermore, Variety is thankful for the support of Antero Resources Corp., who sponsored the first bike for a child from Doddridge County, which will be presented on Thursday.

Variety’s “My Bike” Program serves 10 counties in West Virginia, including: Barbour, Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Taylor and Wetzel. Children from Doddridge, Harrison, Marion and Preston County will be presented with their adaptive bikes during Thursday’s special event.

Variety began its “My Bike” Program in November 2012 by serving children with disabilities in 10 Western Pennsylvania counties—it has since expanded to five more counties in Western Pennsylvania and to 10 counties in West Virginia. The program’s three main goals continue to be: raising awareness of the needs of children with disabilities and their families; spreading the word and identifying eligible children and raising funds for additional bikes.

The program’s launch in West Virginia was significant because it not only changed the lives of children with disabilities and their families, but it demonstrated that Variety’s “My Bike” Program is a model that can be replicated in another state and possibly throughout the nation.

Where: The Bridgeport Conference Center (300 Conference Center Way, Bridgeport, WV 26330)
When: Thursday, July 31, 2014, beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Why:

Children with disabilities are often left out or left behind. Variety’s “My Bike” Program was best summarized by a 10-year-old boy who said he feels “happy and proud” when riding his bike. Every child should have the opportunity to ride a bike and experience these same feelings.

Noah, age 10, from Clarksburg, WV, will be one of 11 Harrison County kids receiving their new adaptive bike on Thursday. Noah is one in a family of 12. His mother, Heather, explained why it is important for Noah to ride a bike like any other child. “It’s emotional to be able to watch your child do something—to watch Noah be able to ride a bike like other kids,” Heather said. “I think it will be encouraging for him to have his own bike—it will be HIS bike!”
More information about Variety’s “My Bike” West Virginia Program (including the application) can be found at http://www.varietypittsburgh.org/BikeApplication.asp. Additionally, a video recap of the April 4th West Virginia kick off can be viewed here.

Contacts:
Charles LaVallee
Variety the Children’s Charity
814-431-9030
charlie@varietypittsburgh.org
Joshua Austin
Variety the Children’s Charity
304-400-8300
joshua@varietypittsburgh.org
View My Bike Program Handout