The Elkin Municipal Park was alive with more than just the normal first day of spring traffic as the Elkin Middle School gathered to watch the Jr. Beta Club present the Elkin Police Department with a mountain bike to help patrol the trails.
After working with Adam French of Downtown BMX Mountain Trail Bike Shop since last fall, the members of the Jr. Beta Club were able to earn funds to purchase a 2017 Fuji Police Special 27.5 for the Elkin Police Department.
Through activities such as the Beat and Bling jewelry show largely sponsored by Premier Jewelers, the Jr. Beta Club was able to raise $ 725 toward the cost of $1,849.99. French was very appreciative of Fuji Bikes for making it possible for Downtown BMX Mountain Trail Bike Shop to assist the students in purchasing the bike.
According to club member Gracie Gambill, the project from beginning to end was a group effort. “We sort of all came up with this idea together so citizens could feel safer on the trail.”
Although there are small motorized vehicles available for officers to use to respond to a call, they are not practical for all areas where a traveler might need assistance such as the bike paths the Elkin Valley Trails Association has recently been working on.
Emily Rycroft, who with Lane Beshears serve as the sponsors for Jr. Beta, stated that the club recently presented its project at a regional Leadership Summit in Sevierville, Tennessee, where they received a Distinguished award inviting them to the National Beta Convention in Orlando.
Madeline Morphis, club president, explained at the summit, members made a presentation based on the bike project explaining the process from inception to delivery plans. Monday’s celebration will be included in the Orlando convention presentation.
Projects were judged based on their impact in the community, creativity, collaboration and problem solving. “[The students] came up with the idea and the plan and then implemented and executed it,” explained Rycroft.
Club member Lourdes Lopez said that’s what Jr. Beta is all about, “how we work as a team and how we get to give to the community. I like this bike celebration,” claimed Lopez, “it’s thoughtful and nice.”
Fellow member Chandler Beals agreed, “It’s a good way to give back.”
“We greatly appreciate it,” declared Elkin Police Chief Monroe Wagoner. “This will help make the trails safer.”
School Resource Officer Cpl. Kevin Hall was the first to ride the bike, noting, “It rides good, a lot better than my bike.”
Hall is a particular fan of the Jr. Beta Club. “They are really trying to teach the kids to do good works and be selfless. The teachers at the middle school do a real good job of that,” asserted Hall. “I think it’s great that the kids can raise money for this.”
They are not done raising funds. According to Rycroft, $1,500 is needed to send the students to the national convention. “On April 14, Speedy Chef is donating a portion of their profits [to the club],” explained Rycroft, who stated that donations also can be made directly to the Elkin Middle School Jr. Beta Club by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I think it’s good for families and the community to show the police appreciation for all they do and provide for us,” declared French. “I think it’s very inspirational to get children to actively engage in something positive.”
To express appreciation to Downtown BMX Mountain and Trail Bike Shop for assisting the Jr. Beta Club and covering the additional cost of the bike, visit them at 227 W. Main St. in downtown Elkin.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.