MILWAUKEE — Hundreds of people lined up at the Lake Express ferry terminal on Thursday to donate a gently used bike.
Roy Laird donated a 1970s Schwinn bike that once belonged to his sister. Now it will go to someone else to enjoy.
"She got me to fit it up and overhaul it for her, and then she decided not to ride it, so she gave it back. So I’ve been moving it around in the basement and decided this is a good use for it. Someone else will enjoy it - it’s a nice bike," said Roy.
In return for each donation, Lake Express provided a free round trip ticket to the first 500 donors. Roy said he is going to use his ticket to go on a 300-mile cycling trip with his buddies in July.
"Some people take cruises. I take bike rides on vacation," said Roy.
A round-trip ticket cost about $177. It's a win-win for donors, but more importantly, it's a win for the community. Donations will benefit Dream Bikes and health programs provided through the Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers.
"If it wasn’t for this drive, which is the largest in southeast Wisconsin, hundreds of kids wouldn’t be getting bikes. Our friends over at Dream Bikes, it helps them out," said event volunteer, Mike Kryshak.
Since 2010, Lake Express has collected more than 5,000 bicycles that have been distributed through organizations in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, and internationally. Each donation is now going to someone else for transportation and to enjoy.