For the fifth consecutive year, thanks to the generosity of volunteers and parishioners from St. John Neumann Catholic Church on Idlewild Rd in Charlotte including members of their Knights of Columbus Council, many children in the community received new bikes this Christmas. Operation Bikes is part of Operation Santa’s Helpers which was begun 30 years ago by long-time Special Olympics volunteer “Santa” Bob Bowler as a Christmas special needs program.
A committee headed by long-time St. John Neumann members John CasaSanta and Mike Horeth, both of Mint Hill, received donations to purchase 160 bikes from the Walmart at the Galleria on N. Sardis Rd. during the store’s Black Friday Special. They were distributed to children from several area schools including Our Lady of Consolation, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Bain, Piney Grove, Idlewild, Queen’s Grant, and Our Lady of Assumption by “Santa’s Helpers” Brian and Matt Allio, Bill Edelen, Cindy Satink, John Streitman, Norm Laskowsky, Don Zaron, Dave Adams, Mike Munao, and Robert Gregory.
Submitted by Al Tinson 704-575-6898; photos by Marty Schneider