BELLE GLADE — Saturday’s clear weather was perfect for a bike ride, according to Dawn Donaldson of JTK (Jesus The King) Bike Shop in Belle Glade. JTK Bike Shop is a nonprofit youth development program. With some training from the adult volunteers, youngsters use parts from old bicycles to build their own bikes. They also help each other build and repair bikes, and recently even started selling bicycles to raise money for the program.
JTK Bike Shop also organizes group bike rides, and invites the participants’ families to join in the fun. “On Saturday, we enjoyed blue skies and a light breeze with temperatures just topping 80 degrees,” she said.
“The JTK Bike Shop kids had a tremendous time exploring Torry Island. They cast their fishing poles and nets, walked the pedestrian path, climbed the observation tower and generally had a great time outdoors,” she continued. “I had one of our JTK youngsters tell me that she never even knew this beautiful place was less than two miles from her home. That’s not the first time I’ve heard that from the local kids, and I am so pleased that their bicycles are providing transportation for these kids to experience the world outside their immediate neighborhood. As a JTK ‘family,’ we are especially proud of Rose Piercin and Rosy Flezinord,” she added. “Six months ago, neither one of these young teens knew how to ride a bike! On their own, the other JTK kids found this unacceptable, and set out to teach both of them how to ride a bicycle. We are so proud that on Saturday, both Rose and Rosy made the six-mile ride successfully! We want to thank all the gracious drivers in town who were patient as we traveled along Canal Street to Torry Island. Over 20 of us in bright green shirts riding bikes through Belle Glade must have been quite the surprising sight,” she said.
The group is looking forward to the next JTK bike ride to Torry Island for the Black Gold Jubilee on April 14. JTK Bike Shop is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 2 to 7 p.m. At the end of a busy day of fixing bicycles, the group has a family-style meal together right there in the bike shop kitchen. Afterward, they all help with cleanup chores. To donate, volunteer or get more information about JTK Bike Shop, contact Dawn Donaldson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 561-312-8575 or at JTK Bike Shop, 233 W. Ave. A, Suite B.