Jason Rosvold (Shaw TV), Ryan Johns (Midland Tools) and Jeff Beeston (Trail Bicycles) contributed to the replacement of bikes for Courtenay Elementary. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools.

VIDEO: Community generosity helps Courtenay Elementary school replace stolen bikes

Community compassion, coupled with school connections, helped Courtenay Elementary restock its inventory of bicycles that had been stolen during the winter.

At a donation celebration May 28 on the sports field at Courtenay Elementary school staff and invited students took receipt of a brand-new collection of donated bikes.

Eight bicycles were stolen from the school property leaving the students without bicycles used to learn cycling skills, to participate in outdoor learning activities and as an environmentally friendly option to commute on field trips within the local surrounding community.

Jeff and Jen Beeston of Trail Bicycles who supplied the Courtenay Elementary with the original bikes from a school grant learned about the school’s misfortune and decided to raise funds to help, in part, to replace the collection. The Beestons launched an in-store fundraiser, never expecting the outpouring of community support in response.

“It was crazy how many people came into the store and donated or emailed. We raised enough funds to purchase another five [bikes] and supplies with the money raised in the shop,” explained Jeff. “You never know how a fundraiser will turn out. You just don’t know if the momentum will catch hearts and spread like wildfire in the community or not.”

Momentum also spread throughout the school district. Jason Rosvold of Shaw TV and Ryan Johns of Midland Tools learned about the theft from the school’s former principal Kyle Timms, now principal at Ecole Robb Road where the children of both Jason and Ryan attend.

Rosvold explained that having Shaw Cable so closely located to the school on McPhee made it feel more relevant to do a good neighbourly deed with a donation of $2,000.

“Many of these students walk right by our door and we wanted to be a part of the solution.”

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In total, approximately $5,000 was raised by Trail Bicycles combined with a donation three purchased bikes by Midland Tools and a private donation of a purchase of three additional bicycles.

Courtenay Elementary was able to recover a few stolen bikes and had a few others still in storage. With the 11 newly donated bikes in May, the school was able to increase its inventory to 18, enough to now allow an entire class to participate in outdoor activities. And, just in time for the return to school June 1 and the continuation of outdoor learning.

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At a social-distancing donation celebration May 28 on the sports field at Courtenay Elementary school staff and invited students took receipt of a brand-new collection of donated bikes from the donors. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools

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