TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Each year, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla works to bring unique and diverse groups into the festivities.
This year, a new organization joins the Parade of Pirates.
On Bikes is a 501(c)3 with a mission of donating new bicycles to at risk children.
Jeff Lenderman is on the board of On Bikes and joined after a charity bike ride.
“I thought to myself, ‘this is an unbelievable movement.’ This whole thing where there is a philosophy of giving, not taking, being part of the community and giving bikes that our at risk youth and kids that are in foster care,” said Lenderman.
On Bikes also partners with McKibbon Hospitality to help build hundreds of the bikes that they donate.
“We kind of all remember getting our first bike and how awesome that was and taking our first ride and everything else, so we are really excited to get those kids their first ride,” said Lenderman.
Many of the donated bicycles go to children at Metropolitan Ministries.
“It’s so much more than a bike. It always is. We talk a lot about hope and for these kids, they’ve lost everything, they’ve lost their friends, some have lost their pet, there’s been abandonment issues and so a bike is so much more than just a bike,” said Metropolitan Ministries CEO Tim Marks.
This year, the group will participate in the parade with their own custom designed float.TAKE A SNEAK PEAK OF THE FLOAT ON FACEBOOK LIVE
“The float is actually extremely versatile. So, obviously we are using the float for the Gasparilla Children’s Day parade this last weekend and will be participating in the Gasparilla Pirate Fest this coming weekend, but we have big plans to use our float beyond Gasparilla,” said Sarah Breseman with On Bikes.
Their goal is to let people know about their mission so they can expand the program and bring more bikes and smiles to children in need.
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