Featured Volunteer(s): Gary & Kay Boughan
Kay and Gary Boughan are the dynamic duo behind the Knights of Columbus 11105/St Paul's Catholic Community annual bike drive. They have been a fixture on the Bikes for the World collection schedule forever. In fact if you've passed by the triangle formed by route 108 and route 124 in Damascus the last Saturday of October, you've likely seen them at it. When we asked Gary how long it's been, he said decades. Bikes for the World celebrated our 15th anniversary last year, but Gary puts his time with us closer to 30 years! So yeah, he and Keith go waaaay back.
You can't just blame Gary for the success of the event though. His partner in crime and life is Kay his wife. Together they have been the passionate drive behind this event, come rain, cold, fog, or flurry. In October the weather is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get. But with Kay and Gary you can count on a solid crew of volunteers and decent turn out of donors and bikes.
This year they put their all into advertising the collection, contacting all the United Methodist churches in the area to help get the word out...including one that was currently hosting an unadvertised event. Montgomery United Methodist came to us and said, hey are you cheating on us?!? (They were joking of course) Turns out the events were complimentary. The Knights of Columbus advertising helped promote both events and even the day of the collection we were diverting donation inquires to Montgomery UM because they were accepting drop offs through November.
And even though that day in October started out damp and foggy, the sun came out and the St. Paul's Catholic Community once again had a banner year. In fact, since we've been keeping track (which only covers back as far as we've been officially called Bikes for the World) this collection had their best year yet with 85 bikes. They have also never missed a year, including last year when they collected nearly 50 bikes during the uncertainty of the pandemic.
We are extremely grateful for the stalwarts in our ranks who truly kept our wheels turning the past two years. Being able to count on dedicated supporters like the Boughans have made it possible for us to meet our partners' needs around the world. Just last week the bikes collected at this event (and through the Montgomery UM effort) arrived in Costa Rica. Thanks to both groups, we were able to load and ship two containers of bikes at the same time. After we finished loading the second container, our warehouse was empty, and 1,000+ bikes were on their way to new owners in time for the holidays.]
PS- no worries on that empty warehouse, we are well on our way to filling it right back up again!