Marshall High hosts its last-ever ‘Bike Fix-it Fair’

Here’s another community resource fading into oblivion, now that Marshall High School has been closed – forever …

A participant in the final Marshall “Bike Fix-it Fair”, Nathaniel Fuqua, tells event organizer, Marshall Sun School Community Engagement Specialist Katie Lauderdale, he’s happy to get his bike tuned up for the summer.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
There weren’t any carnival rides or craft activities – but this year’s Marshall High “Bike Fix-it Fair” still put smiles on lots of kids’ faces.

“We have volunteer mechanics from a couple of bike shops to help us out, with donated supplies and expertise,” explained the event’s organizer, Marshall Sun School Community Engagement Specialist Katie Lauderdale – who added, “No relation to ‘Pink Martini’!

“We help fix peoples’ bicycles for free,” Lauderdale continued. “We provide them with helmets for just five dollars, and we have volunteers trained to fit them properly. We also have raffles for bike locks and bike lights.”

Seth Richardson, owner of Meticon Bikes on SE Foster Road, gives a bike a professional tune-up. “I do this because I try to do as many of these events as I can to help promote bicycling, and keep kids safe in particular,” he says.

The goal of the May 21 event, Lauderdale added, was to get people – especially kids – ready to ride safely this summer on neighborhood streets and roads.

“This event is really about building community, and getting the neighborhood invested in our families,” Lauderdale observed. “But it’s also about teaching our families about the resources that are available to them, and they’re here to help them out. It’s also a way for us to get to know our families. For a lot of our families, bikes are a main mode of transportation. For them, it’s not something that they just ride for fun.”

Volunteer Kara Messenheimer makes sure this youngster’s new helmet fits correctly.

Unspoken was that this was the last such annual springtime event to be held on the Marshall Campus. “But, we do collaborate with Harrison Park K-8; and I am pretty confident that they will continue there.”

Lauderdale said that the SUN School program is moving to Franklin High School on S.E. 52nd in the next school year. “So, I’m pretty certain that this program will continue with the work that we do, for a good number of our kids.”

SUN School participants enjoy their very last Bike Fix-it Fair at Marshall High School.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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