Griswold Youth Center giving away bicycles

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Jewett City - posted Wed., May. 11, 2011
Kids from the Griswold Youth Center show off the bikes available for free to needy families in Griswold and Jewett City. Photo by Janice Steinhagen.
Kids from the Griswold Youth Center show off the bikes available for free to needy families in Griswold and Jewett City. Photo by Janice Steinhagen.

Griswold youngsters who’d like a bike for the summer but find it beyond the family budget have lucked out.

Griswold Youth Center, in the Slater Mill Mall, has an assortment of bicycles available for free to town residents, according to center director Ryan Aubin.

The bicycles came from St. Patrick Cathedral in Norwich, via Resident State Trooper Jeff McDermott.  They are mostly sized for smaller children, ages 3 to 5, Aubin said. “Some have training wheels and some do not,” he said. “They may need air in the tires.”

McDermott said that the bikes came to the cathedral parish via a connection with a bike shop owner elsewhere in the state.  The shop owner had a surplus of used bikes and offered them to Msgr. Tony Rosaforte of the cathedral parish, who gave away as many as he could in his community.

There were still 40 bicycles left when Rosaforte offered the rest to the GYC, said McDermott. "Father Tony, another trooper and myself drove down. We made several trips to bring them up here," he said.

Town residents looking to pick up a bike can do so during the Griswold Youth Center’s regular hours, Monday through Friday, 2:30-5:30 p.m.

The Griswold Youth Center, operated by Griswold Youth and Family Services Department, offers an after-school “safe haven” for at-risk teens. Besides a place to play games, do homework and socialize, the Youth Center also offers community service programs and “lock-in” nights, and in conjunction with the town recreation department, summer recreation programs and a skateboarding camp in July.

In addition, the Youth and Family Services Department sponsors Youthtopia, a day-long festival featuring music, games, food and family fun. This year’s event is slated for Sunday, May 29, at Veterans’ Park on Ashland Street from noon to 6 p.m.

Registration is currently underway for the summer recreation program and the skateboarding camp. Registration forms are available at http://griswoldyfs.com/.


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