Combined community compassion coupled with school connections
helped Courtenay Elementary restock its inventory of bicycles that had been stolen during the
winter.

At a social-distancing donation celebration May 28 on the sports field at Courtenay Elementary
school staff and invited students took receipt of a brand-new collection of donated bikes from the
donors.

Eight bicycles were stolen from the school property leaving the students without bicycles used to
learn cycling skills, to participate in outdoor learning activities and as an environmentally
friendly option to commute on field trips within the local surrounding community.

Jeff and Jen Beeston of Trail Bicycles who supplied the Courtenay Elementary with the original
bikes from a school grant learned about the school’s misfortune and decided to raise funds to
help, in part, to replace the collection. The Beestons launched an in-store fundraiser never
expecting the outpour of community support in response.

“It was crazy how many people came into the store and donated or emailed. We raised enough
funds to purchase another five [bikes] and supplies with the money raised in the shop,” explained
Jeff Beeston. “You never know how a fundraiser will turn out. You just don’t know if the
momentum will catch hearts and spread like wildfire in the community or not”.

Momentum also spread throughout the school district. Jason Rosvold of Shaw TV and Ryan
Johns of Midland Tools learned about the theft from the school’s former principal Kyle Timms,
now principal at Ecole Robb Road where the children of both Jason and Ryan attend.

Rosvold explained that having Shaw Cable so closely located to the school on McPhee made it
feel more relevant to do a good neighbourly deed with a donation of $2,000.

“Many of these students walk right by our door and we wanted to be a part of the solution.”

In total, approximately $5,000 was raised by Trail Bicycles combined with a donation three
purchased bikes by Midland Tools and a private donation of a purchase of three additional
bicycles.

Courtenay Elementary was able to recover a few stolen bikes and had a few others still in
storage. With the 11 newly donated bikes in May, the school was able to increase its inventory to
18, enough to now allow an entire class to participate in outdoor activities. And, just in time for
the return to school June 1 and the continuation of outdoor learning.

Mary Lee

Manager of Communications, Comox Valley Schools (School District 71)