Donors put a new spin on ‘recycling’
Locals have a big heart for a 12-year-old boy with a degenerative eye disease. A couple months ago, the Clifton boy, Cy Delgado, had his specially made bicycle stolen from his home. The first time it was stolen, local radio personality, Mackenzie Dodge of 99.9 KEKB FM, aired the news on her show and the boy’s family tracked down the bicycle.
The second time it was stolen, the sturdy blue bicycle with three wheels was not recovered.
That’s when Dodge decided to get involved, challenging listeners to raise money to purchase the boy a new bike.
Chris Brown, owner of Brown Cycles, 549 Main St., was floored by what happened next.
“She called about a month ago and said, ‘What can we do?’” Brown said of Dodge. “Then all of a sudden people started coming in giving me money.”
Brown set aside a comfortable, used, two-seated, four-wheel recumbent bicycle for the boy. Two riders sit side-by-side and each can steer the bike and use the brakes.
If it were new, the bike would retail at about $2,500, he said.
People started coming in off the street donating $10 and $20 at a time.
“These are Joe Schmo normal everyday hard-working Americans that are letting a stranger ‘have cuts’ in line,” Brown said in an email. “Some of these folks look like they could use the cash but are giving it anyway.”
As the fundraising was underway, a man came to the store to donate to the cause, but just decided to pay off the entire amount, $472.38. A woman called after the man had paid the tab and said she wanted to pay off the amount. When she was told it was too late, she offered to buy the boy a helmet or a bike lock.
“When people start riding in the streets, more people start riding. When people start donating, it sort of snowballed in a good way,” Brown said.
Brown Cycles threw in $100 to cover costs and the man who had consigned the used bike also dropped the price $100. Brown attributed the drive to Dodge’s efforts and her loyal following of country music listeners.
“People didn’t ask, ‘Who’s it for?’ They were just good for it,” he said. “She says, ‘I need something,’ and they just start jumping, It’s something she does. She has built some sort of culture.”