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A Bike Rally at The Children's Center

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Center 69 By Kim Underwood

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

MARCH 11, 2019 – A couple of weeks ago, Brenda Herman was watching students at The Children’s Center as they rode bikes for therapy.

Something about the scene put her in mind of the annual Myrtle Beach Bike Week.

Wouldn’t it be fun, she thought, to have their own version of Bike Week at The Children’s Center?

Herman, who has been serving as interim principal at the school, reached out to the community. When she did, Winston-Salem Police officers who use motorcycles, members of the Winston-Salem Chapter of HOG (Harley Owner’s Group) and people with Kevin Powell Motor Sports were among those who said they would be happy to participate.

On Monday morning, three police officers­ – Cpl. Josh Sheets and motorcycle officers Ron Robertson and Stephen Everhart – rode up and parked their motorcycles in the parking lot in front of the school. They were looking forward to building relationships with students and talking a bit about bike safety, Sheets said.

Bike 62 A few minutes later, seven members of the Winston-Salem Chapter of HOG pulled into the lot and parked in a line.

Sandy Reece, who is the Chapter Director, said they were there because they like to do what they can to give back to the community. The other members on hand were Gerald Dawson, Tammy Edwards, Gracie & David Brown, Dale Wilson, and Mick Schlotfeldt.

Kevin Powell Motor Sports is connected to The Children’s Center through Jourdan Stoeppelwerth, the Parts Technician. Her mother, Sara Stoeppelwerth teaches there. Andy Kormendy, the Corporate Repairman, and Mike Snow, the Manager, also came along. They brought a Side by Side ATV and other fun vehicles.

 “They, along with the Winston-Salem Police Department, stayed for the entire two hours to make sure all the kids got a chance to have their pictures taken on the Side by Side,” Sara Stoeppelwerth said.  “It is also worth mentioning that Mondays they are closed, so this is typically a day off for them, they sacrificed that to come out for the kids.” 

“They really went out of their way to make this a special event for the students we serve.”  

As part of the festivities, each class at the school had created its own bike club. Students, teachers, and teacher assistants had decorated bikes, wheelchairs and other devices. They had also created posters with the name of their group on it.

Motor 4 As a member of The Dragon Fairies, teacher Santana Revels thought it would be fun to wear wings for the day.

As everyone came out of the building, they formed a parade around the parking lot. Each group would stop and visit and have their pictures made with the police officers and members of HOG. Several members of HOG offered to high-five students. The students were happy to respond.

Students and Teachers woudl also climb up on the Side by Side. 

Teacher assistant William Poe likes working at The Children’s Center.

“I just love bringing a smile on kids’ faces and making a difference in the lives of children,” Poe said.

On this particular morning, the smile on his face as he sat in the driver’s seat of the utility task vehicle was a big as the smile on any of the children’s faces.

After she and the students finished visiting with everyone, teacher assistant Joanne Thompson said she appreciated how friendly all the visitors were. The students had a lot of fun, she said.

After the parade, students headed off to stations set up around the campus.

The motorcycle officers said they, too, had had a good time.

Child 57 “It’s good to see the kids and good to talk to them,” Robertson said. “They seemed to really enjoy themselves.”

The members of the Winston-Salem Chapter of HOG are reaching out to the community in another way in April. On Saturday, April 20, they are holding their “Egg Roll for Children!” on the grounds of Smokin’ Harley-Davidson at 3441 Myer Lee Drive. The fun starts at 1 p.m. Children need to bring their own basket or bag. 

Kim Underwood