Bike Exchange raises funds to support programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County

From left: Boys & Girls Clubs volunteers Brad White and Kiyomi Camp, Wanda McNeill from the Mercer County Park Commission, and Vanessa DeRosa from the Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction with bicycles that were dropped off at the Hunt House in response to the county’s bike drive.

Mercer County and the Park Commission recently hosted their second annual Bike Drive for the benefit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County Bike Exchange.

Donors came from all over the county and the surrounding area on April 9 to drop off bikes at the Wildlife Center and the Hunt House in Hopewell Township, Mercer County Park in West Windsor, and the Tulpehaking Nature Center in Hamilton.

The Bike Exchange is a volunteer-run organization whose primary objective is to raise funds to support after-school programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County. The Bike Exchange repairs donated bicycles and sells them at modest prices at its Ewing location at Capitol Plaza, raising funds and promoting biking for transportation and pleasure among low- and moderate-income families, according to the statement.

“We were pleased to be able to work with the Bike Exchange again this year,” County Executive Brian M. Hughes said in the statement. “Our county parks have miles of trails ideal for biking, so we are happy to help in the efforts to get low-cost bikes into the hands of our constituents.”

“We have Park Commission facilities throughout the county,” Executive Director Aaron T. Watson said in the statement. “So, it was very convenient for donors to drop off their bikes at locations close to their homes.”

According to Ira Saltiel, the Bike Exchange’s volunteer director, 50 people volunteer for the organization, and 30 help on a regular basis, according to the statement. With average sales of 2,000 bikes per year, the Bike Exchange has sold approximately 24,000 bikes since its inception in 2009, raising $1.4 million for the Boys & Girls Clubs.

The Bike Exchange also trains interested Boys & Girls Clubs members in bike repairs. Some of the Boys & Girls Clubs teens who are learning how to rehabilitate bikes volunteered their time at the bike drive by helping donors unload bikes from their vehicles, handing out informational materials, and loading donated bikes onto Bike Exchange trailers at the end of the day, according to the statement.

“Ten Bike Exchange volunteers and five interns from the Boys & Girls Club helped with the Mercer County bike drive this year,” Saltiel said in the statement, “which resulted in 200 bike donations. We expect more than $15,000 in sales from those bikes.”

For information on Mercer County Park Commission parks and trails, visit!/activities/passive-recreation/bike-trails/

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