MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2018

Contact:
Shelley Patterson
shelley@buddybike.com
786.489.BIKE (2453)

 
 

Donors Replace Buddy Bike Stolen from
Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation
and Open Spaces, Disability Services
Buddy Bike Donation by The Ricky King Children's Fund and The Family of Christian Johnson

 

Miami, FL, February 19, 2018 - On February 13, 2018 Shelley Patterson of Buddy Bike, LLC, a Florida business, made a surprise delivery of a Buddy Bike to Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Disability Services. The Buddy Bike, a bicycle designed for riders with disabilities, was donated by The Ricky King Children's Fund and The Family of Christian Johnson to replace a Buddy Bike that was stolen, along with other sports equipment, from Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation in 2016.

In 2010 Buddy Bike, LLC donated one of their bikes to Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Disability Services for use in their programs. The bicycle was enjoyed by many riders with and without disabilities until it was stolen in 2016. Shelley Patterson, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Buddy Bike says, "I was greatly saddened upon hearing of the theft. I take it personally when thieves take any of our bikes as I have been in personal contact with the majority of our customers and I know how special the bikes are to them." Patterson was hopeful that the stolen Buddy Bike could be returned as it is a fairly unique bicycle. She made efforts to announce news of the theft but to date, it has not been recovered.



On February 8, 2018 Patterson received an e-mail from a customer, Melissa Phillips, the mother of Christian Johnson, stating that they wanted to donate their Buddy Bike. Phillips said, "We enjoyed [the Buddy Bike] immensely and were grateful to be able to bike around our neighborhood as a family. It was usually the only exercise Christian enjoyed participating in! As has always been my intention, I would like to pay it forward and gift the bike for another family to enjoy."

Patterson immediately considered Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation as a recipient for the donated Buddy Bike, which was initially funded as therapeutic equipment for Christian Johnson by The Ricky King Children's Fund located in Naples, Florida. It was one of two Buddy Bikes funded by the organization which aims to enrich the lives of children with disabilities in Southwest Florida by providing essential medical equipment and services in times of need. When Patterson requested the permission of The Ricky King Children's Fund and of Melissa Phillips to deliver the donated bike to Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation at a hand cycling program that they hold each Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Tamiami Park in Miami, Florida, they generously approved.

Patterson rented a van and drove 280 miles to pick up the donated Buddy Bike and deliver it as a surprise to Arlene Bouza-Jou and the staff at Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Disability Services at their hand cycling event on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Patterson says, "The excitement and enthusiasm of the staff made the miles seem like nothing. It was a small journey to make compared to the generosity of the donors - The Ricky King Children's Fund and Melissa Phillips - and the efforts of the Parks & Recreation crew and how hard they work to bring joy to people with special needs. I would do it again in a heartbeat."

To learn about adaptive cycling programs and how you can ride the Buddy Bike at Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Disability Services, visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/accessibility.asp or contact Arlene Bouza-Jou at ArleneB@miamidade.gov.

To learn about The Ricky King Children's Fund and how you can support them visit www.rickykingfund.org or contact Jennifer Weidenbruch at Jennifer@rickykingfund.org.

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About Buddy Bike®
Buddy Bike, LLC is the manufacturer of an alternative inline tandem that provides therapeutic and recreational activity for riders with disabilities such as autism, down syndrome and sight impairment that may not allow them to safely ride a bicycle on their own. They work hard to provide a quality product that will encourage more families to bicycle, especially families with special needs children who might otherwise never enjoy the thrill of riding a bicycle. For more information visit buddybike.com or call 786.489.BIKE (2453).

About Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Disability Services
For more information about Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Disability Services, visit http://www.miamidade.gov/parks/accessibility.asp.

About Ricky King Children's Fund
The Ricky King Children's Fund (RKCF) improves the lives of critically ill and disabled children in Southwest Florida by providing essential medical equipment and services their families can't afford and insurance won't cover. Many of the children helped by RKCF fall between the cracks of larger organizations and insurance agencies. We are often the last hope for so many families. These severely handicapped children have several ailments and do not have an organization that meets their immediate needs. These children suffer from such conditions and diseases as cerebral palsy, paralysis, congenital muscular dystrophy, autism, spina bifida and hydrocephalus, to name just a few. RKCF has provided items such as walkers, hospital beds, bath chairs, helmet therapy and van conversions. We give these children the best version of "good" health we can give them. Call 239-449-0209 or visit www.RickyKingFund.org for additional information on how you can contribute to these children in need.

 

   

   

 
 

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