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Rushford gets kids biking safely

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 29th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Health & Wellness

It’s been nearly 20 years since Rushford has held a bike safety clinic for its young people. This past Wednesday, thanks to tenacious part-time Rushford police officer Chris Frick, the community once again saw kids practicing the basics on the school play yard.

In a little over three weeks’ time, Frick was able to collect more than $1,800 in donations for the event, including a donation match from the Rushford Masonic Lodge. Frick even went so far as to take a day off of his regular job to solicit the donations, which came from The Rushford Womens’ Club, Tri-County Electric, the Horihan Agency, State Farm, Hammell Equipment, Farmer’s Elevator, the Creamery & Nordic Lanes, Rushford State Bank, Winona Health, and the Rushford Area Chamber of Commerce. The donations were intended to support organization of the event, which was a collaboration of the Rushford Police Department and the Rushford Ambulance Service.

Participants without helmets had their heads measured for a proper fit and will be able to pick up their helmets at Rushford Hardware at a later date, which donated them at a discounted rate. Kwik Trip in Rushford also joined in, donating cookies and bags for booklets. News of the upcoming clinic also traveled to Winona, where a Rushford resident solicited their employer, WalMart, to donate a gift certificate to be used towards a new bicycle.

The six, one-hour classes were conducted by Frick, assistant and part-time officer Wade Anderson, and by members of Craig Colbenson’s high school class. Julie Scudiero, Rushford Ambulance Director, was also on hand to help out, as well as giving the participants a tour of the ambulance.

The kids, for their part, learned bicycle basics, including hand signals, street crossing safety, and riding skills. They were divided into an under 10 and 10 and over age groups for the classes. Despite the high temperatures, all were smiling and enjoying the classes.

Julie-Ann Frick, Chris’ wife and a city hall employee, saw to pre-registrations. Prior to the start of the classes, 40 were registered, but several drop-ins had already showed up in the first morning class and Frick expected the number of actual participants to be between 45 and 55 by day’s end.

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