Archive for August, 2009

Kids’ thank you notes for bicycles

August 4, 2009

Click this link to read the Thank You notes from the kids who received bikes from West Chester Cycle Club.

This is why we are doing this!!


Meeting Minutes 7/7/2009

August 4, 2009
Minutes from the Second Meeting of the NBW-Norristown Project
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Discussion convened at 7:45pm
Attendees: Rhonda Bailey, Elaine Feldman, Lisa Graves (Moderator), DeeAnne Kotzur, Norman Lazarus, Laura Mack, Linda McGrane (Recorder), George Miller, and Barbara Rosenberg (Host).
MISSION: To increase opportunities for urban youth via bicycling.
Focal points for this evening’s meeting:
1) Location
2) Fundraising
3) Action Plan
George Miller met with Bill Plichta (Norristown Borough Parks & Rec), re. two possible sites for the NBW facility.  Both are located in the Elmwood Park neighborhood, center of the borough and “neutral turf”.
     1) Garage with three service bays (used by utility trucks).  Unsure about heating & air cond.  It is lockable, and has space for work benches.
     2) Large room in bandshell
Both of the above facilities are located in a central locus of activity (~3 miles by 3 miles) — Police Athletic League (PAL) is nearby.  Facilities are accessible from the SRT, although there is a hill coming up from the trail.
Site inspections are scheduled for Thursday, 7/9.  Cost of renting should be minimal.
If the above proposed sites do not pan out, John Moser has information, re. another possible venue if needed.  Also, Norman mentioned the possible use of space at a “storefront” church immediately adjacent to the old (now deserted) Breakaway Cafe.
Leland stated that if funding is secured and Andy can recruit staff, 1 & 1/2 months would be a feasible time frame to launch.
Chosen venue will require prep time to install work benches, lock boxes, etc.
There is a link to NBW website for grant-writing.  We will need long-term, sustained fund-raising.
Possible ways to raise money: discussed selling extra tail lights and/or cue sheet holders (BCP left-over Banquet favors).
Per Tom Madle, COS has strict rules against fundraising & sales on church property.
Leland mentioned “Just Give” and “Network for Good“, Paypal-like on-line payment services for Non-Profits.
Group discussed possibility of charging supplemental fees on event admissions for rides such as Schuylkill Century and/or Bike Philly, e.g., adding an extra $1 – $5 (optional/vountary donation).
Another possibility: having display tables at rest stops and/or the Start/Finish, providing info on the project.
Bike shops may be able to donate either cash or bike parts and supplies.
We’ll need to produce: 
       1) a brochure to distribute to bike shops.
       2) a checklist of project needs/requirements
       3) a checklist of volunteer expectations & qualifications
       4) insurance & waiver forms
Fundraising outside of the cycling community, e.g., health care professionals, pharmaceuticals.  Pharma companies located near the trail.
Per LaSalle University’s Institute for Non-Profits, the most stable source of funding is to have a large mass of INDIVIDUALS (vs. corporations).
Use of bike club newsletters and list-serve to increase public interest, support, momentum.
Use of press releases to show ‘before” and ‘after”, progression from early stage to completion.  Show photo of new facility, & photo of instructors with kids, then release updated story every 6 weeks or so.  (People need to see something at least 7 times before message sinks in.)
Tom Madle is persuasive, influential event leader; if we draft material for Tom, Tom will issue it (to his “followers”).
Fundraising for Non-Profits: Guide Star and Charity Navigator.
Monday evening COS cyclist Michele Leonard works for GSK — GSK is close to the trail.
Appeal for extra bikes, parts, tools.  Need ~50-60 bikes.  NBW in Phila. receives some donated bikes from the Police — bikes which were  confiscated, and never ID’d or reclaimed.  (Univ. of Penn police typically donates ~100 bikes/year to the West Phila. NBW.)   NBW has a list of “desirable” bike traits, e.g., wheels 20″ or greater, metric tools, etc.  Most donated bikes are just dropped off at the NBW warehouse.
Possible sources of bike donations (or cash gifts):
     Trek, Bikes Belong, and Fuji.  (In past, Fuji has donated bikes at very, very low cost, e.g., 1 bike at wholesale + 1 bike free.)
Elaine offered to work Leland on the list of needs for the Norristown branch.
We will also need documentation from NBW’s insurance company, re. liability coverage — City of Norristown will require this.
Leland reported that NBW/West Phila. has offered in the past “Bike Safety Check” fairs, with basic repairs done on-site, in a “block party” format.  A tips jar for donations could be set-up.  Norristown Parks Dept could assist with scheduling this type of event.
Other possible sources for donations/fundraising:
     1) Literature/flyers at the Norristown Train/Transit Station and/or PAL
     2) Raffles — prize given for every ~100 donors.
Goal is to try to raise ~$1000 in a month.
                                                     ACTION PLAN
Entire team agreed that e-mail updates, encouraging donations and/or volunteerism, should be sent no more often than once a week, due to e-mail recipients eventually “tuning out”, if e-mails are so frequent that they become overwhelming.
Any literature or updates should be written at 5th grade level for wide-spread reader comprehension.
The NBW website has a check-box to identify donations specifically intended for Norristown.
Rhonda offered to draft a brochure document.  Team discussed possibility of  the flyer or brochure in PDF format, although PDF might not be accepted by certain clubs’ list-serves.
The members of the team, and other concerned cylists, represent and/or have access to all of the cycling clubs and groups in this region.  Each of these will need to be approached:
Sturdy Girls (Dee Anne)
West Cester Cycling (Lisa)
COS (Tom Madle)
BCP (Barbara R., Elaine, Steve Trobovic, Linda Mc, et al)
SCU (Rich Terry, Steve Sheetz, Tom Madle, Linda Mc)
West River Drive Time Trials (Dee Anne)
Delaware Valley Bike Club (LMc knows the President of DVBC)
Brandywine Bike Club (LMc knows a couple in the BBC)
That’s all she wrote — literally.                       La Fin