ngineer’s office employees turn to bike building

ngineer’s office employees turn to bike building

Image Credit: Dan Starcher

Wayne County Engineer’s Office employees recently turned into Santa’s helpers when they dedicated an afternoon to assembling 21 bikes to be given to children during the Shop with a Hero event on Dec. 11. Three of the bikes will be delivered to the domestic abuse treatment center, OneEighty.

Shop with a Hero is an annual collaboration on the second Saturday of December through the Fraternal Order of Police and Wayne County Children Services. Each year 100 area children are matched with a hero who treats them to breakfast and then participates in a motorcade to Walmart for a shopping spree.

The idea to build bikes for the event can be traced back to the Wayne County Fair.

TJ Shamp, Wayne County highway superintendent and fair board member, brought the idea to his department two years ago after recalling an Aaron Tippin performance at the fair in 2014 in which the singer built a bike on stage and donated it. He then challenged the fair board to do the same.

“It is just amazing to see the joy that these bikes bring to the kids,” Shamp said. “They go to children all over Wayne County. We load them up in our trucks and deliver them alongside resource officers. The drivers get to see the reaction first-hand.”

According to administrative assistant Pam Brown, the Wayne County Engineer’s Office employees entirely funded the effort.

“All of our employees donated to the bike fund,” Brown said. “This year our staff donated a combined total of $1,186.”

Due to supply shortages, getting the bikes posed a challenge, but Brown was persistent and found other options.

“We needed to get different sizes of bikes,” Brown said. “The FOP knew how many of each size to get, but getting them from the stores didn’t work out this year, but I was able to find them online and get them shipped for free.”

Second-term Wayne County engineer Scott Miller is appreciative of his department’s efforts.

“This is a worthwhile project for the betterment of Wayne County,” Miller said. “Last year and today, I was able to watch all of our employees come together and build bikes and share in fellowship while giving back to our community. I appreciate the efforts of our employees to not only maintain our transportation system, but also to recognize others in our community need our support over the holidays.”

Dan Starcher is a public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.