Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bike Recycling Leader named Y's Volunteer of the Year

Just last summer the Second Chance Bicycle Recycling got off the ground as a collaborative venture between the Family YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties and Oregon Youth Authority/Hillcrest.

And after just one year, at the Annual Meeting the YMCA, founder and organizer Aaron Ryals was named Volunteer of the Year!

At the meeting in May, in front of a room full of about 50 YMCA supporters, Aaron recieved the award from Y Board Chair Richard Berger and CEO Paul Manning.

Aaron congratulated by Richard Berger (Chair of Board)
and Paul Manning (CEO) of
the Family YMCA of Marion & Polk Counties
In her nomination, Senior Director of Health Innovations Janice Naimy wrote:
Aaron is our bike mechanic for 2nd Chance and has been volunteering his Wednesdays for the past year to help get the program off the ground. He has spent countless hours teaching the youth at Hillcrest how to repair bicycles, maintain a shop, orders supplies and delivers bicycles to be given back to the community. Aaron always insures that the safety is put first before returning a bike back in to the community. [He] works part of the year as a bike mechanic for Santiam Bicycle...He volunteers... as much time as possible to the project even during the busy season because he wants to see the success of the program, give back to the community and teach the youth at OYA that taking pride in your work and giving back matters.

Aaron is also a Y kid. [H]e spent many hours here as a child while his Dad worked.

Janice and Aaron collect bikes last June

Aaron and Cory
This year the program has grown, and Aaron needed to add a second mechanic. Aaron and Cory look forward to continuing growth and the next step in the Recyclery's evolution.

Congratulations, Aaron!

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