Continental Park’s summer camp marked a special day on July 11 when more than 100 youngsters helped christen three brand-new bicycles for the Parks Foundation “Bike Safety” program, a feature at a dozen Miami-Dade summer camping sessions during 2013.
The presentation at the East Kendall area park brought back biking memories for both Ronald Marini, president of Marini and Associates law firm, donor of the bicycles, and former Miami NFL player Dick Anderson, an all-star safety for the Dolphins.
“I know when I was your age, I was riding a bicycle all over Philadelphia,” Marini told a grandstand packed with future bikers. “That’s how kids got around in my day. It’s most important for you to learn bike safety, as you start out.”
Anderson, president of Miami-Dade Parks Foundation, added, “I learned how to ride a bike growing up in Colorado. The bike safety program has already given a start on safety lessons for 774 Miami- Dade youngsters.”
The shiny brand-new blue bicycles, complete with safety helmets, were then put into practice as park youngsters were taught skills for safety during a session of the summer-long University of Miami Bike Safety Program that also visited West Kendall’s Westwind Lakes Park on July 5.
Directing the bike safety program was Valerie Nelson, manager from the UM Miller School of Medicine BikeSafe Program/KiDZ Neuroscience Center at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis that provides children with educational materials and giveaways.
The bike safety effort in Miami-Dade parks was initiated in May 2012 when the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade’s Neill L. Miller Fund donated $7,000 to the UM BikeSafe Program to implement and expand its activities, designed for teaching safety throughout Miami-Dade parks.
UM BikeSafe certified instructors trained park counselors to teach an expanded curriculum of bike safety that both Westwind Lakes and Continental Park youngsters experienced with the newly donated bicycles.
“Thanks to the generous contribution by Marini and Associates, hundreds of children enrolled in Miami-Dade summer camps will learn fundamental rules and safety practices for riding a bicycle, information they will carry with them through to adulthood,” Anderson said.
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade supports development for year-around programs and recreation. For information, contact Edith Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-755-7862.