From the proceeds of our major event next February, we have pledged $30,000 to help build a Salem Bike Park and Trail Facility. The Good Works selection committee had a huge task on our hands to choose just one recipient from so many worthy projects. But here are some of the reasons we love this project:
1. Improving kids’ health; reducing obesity. Studies such as the SCORP study (2008-2012) have shown that outdoor trail and biking opportunities close to home are associated with lower rates of overweight and obese citizens.
2. Fostering an appreciation for our outdoors environment and the need for conservation of our natural resources. If kids grow up enjoying the outdoors, they will continue this appreciation as they become adults.
3. Leveling the playing field for kids that can’t afford or aren’t suitable for school-sponsored team sports. In particular, lower income children may not be able to afford the sports fees, special uniforms and other requirements that go along with team sports.
4. Being aware of the positive effects of bike riding on kids that have been diagnosed with ADHD. The bike company, Specialized, has a Foundation that strives to improve the lives of kids with ADHD. It found that kids’ brains are better prepared for learning when they take part in cycling activities, including improving attention, mood and behavior.
At Rotary Club of Salem, we have always cared about the welfare of youth in our community. This Bike Park and Trail Facility will be a gift to all the kids that live in the area – whether they’re athletic or not, school achievers or not, and wealthy or not. We feel this was the perfect choice for this year’s Good Works major grant.
Don’t miss this week’s program! We will enjoy the music of the Auburn Elementary School Choir, grades 4 & 5. The Auburn choir has the reputation of being one of the best and largest elementary school choirs in the Salem-Keizer School District and in the State – despite the fact that Auburn is situated in a low family income area of Salem. They have been trained exclusively by Stephen Phillips, their music teacher at the school. Stephen is a master general music & choir teacher who has been teaching music at Auburn since he graduated from college 24 year ago.