CCC students buy bikes for people with disabilities

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 9:04 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Every year the Student Occupational Therapy Association at Central Community College raises money to buy therapeutic bikes for people with disabilities, and this year they managed to succeed despite the challenges.

“It makes me feel really blessed, because when I was a little kid I always wanted a bike, and that’s always what I was doing was on a bike going somewhere, so to be able to fund raise for these kids, and be able to get them out and going especially with COVID and everything,” Student Occupational Therapy Association President Emily Refior said.

Refior said it was difficult trying to raise money during the Coronavirus pandemic. They sold shirts, Eileen’s cookie dough, and used apps to handle the money.

“There was a kind of scare that once orders were due that we might not be in class, but we’re lucky enough to stay healthy, and we were able to be in class still,” Refior said.

Fortunately they managed to raise $2,500 and donated two tricycles to Bikes and Trykes of Central Nebraska.

“I think it’s pretty incredible for the last seven years, I believe this is one of the most money we’ve ever raised, and I think that speaks to the class, their passion,” Occupational Therapy Assistance Program Director Dr. Callie Watson said.

Bikes and Trykes is a nonprofit located out of the Children’s Rehab Center in Grand Island, who gifts therapeutic tricycles to people with disabilities.

“Typically we have a golf tournament in the summer that is our main fundraiser, obviously we were not able to do that, so it’s even better that they were able to help us in that way. Yeah they did a great job,” The rehab center’s Physical Therapy Director Deb Phinney said.

These bikes can be adapted to fit the person’s specific needs like support for their upper body or a bar to give them a push.

“Each bike is on average close to 900 dollars,” Phinney said. “The prices go up, but it can be anywhere from this really small ones might be 300 to 350 to over a 1,000.”

Usually, the people benefiting from these bikes have never been able to ride or even have one.

“We want individuals with disabilities to be able to function and do things that all kids do, and be able to participate and do those things is just great for social development,” Watson said.

The Student Occupational Therapy Association still has some money left over. They plan to donate to another cause and save for next year’s bikes.

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