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A Lions’ Legacy on the trail through Thorold

Bike repair stations to become permanent fixtures along Parkway

A Thorold service club and the local high school have joined forces to create a “legacy” for the city’s portion of the Welland Canal Parkway.

As part of its 100th anniversary celebrations last year, Lions International tasked its local clubs with coming up with a Legacy Project for their respective communities. Looking for inspiration, club members soon settled on an idea a few had seen in other communities such as Hamilton: a bike repair station along recreation trails.

Recognizing the existence of three main sections of the trail inside of Thorold borders, the club decided it would donate three separate stations at three locations: Lock 7, the Allanburg Bridge and in Port Robinson at the canal ferry site.

The stations allow bike owners to suspend their bikes above the ground and provide a variety of tools owners might require to make quick repairs. In addition, a permanent manual air pump is installed alongside the suspension rack.

Unfortunately, however, bike stations don’t come cheaply. Lions member Susan Beamer told ThoroldNews the club received quotes as high as $3,000 to purchase the stations, but members were convinced there might be a less expensive option.

Enter Thorold Secondary.

According to TSS teacher Mike Doyle, he was contacted by Lions club member John Wilson who said he was aware the Ormond Street school had welding facilities. Doyle said Wilson asked him if the school would be interested in taking on the design and welding challenges of constructing the stations if the club was able to provide the materials?

“Community projects are approached with a sense of greater responsibility, and ultimately a greater sense of satisfaction. So, after some consideration, we were glad to be invited on board,” Doyle told ThoroldNews.

Doyle said two classes from TSS were involved as there is two separate components to the stations: a service rack and an air filling apparatus. Leading the school’s efforts, said Doyle, were students Brendan Nixon on the service racks, and Presley Snoddon who was largely responsible for the air-filling part of the stations. Snoddon used the project to participate in the welding DSBN Skills Challenges and earned a Canadian Welding Bureau certificate through the school board's Specialist High Skills Major program.

“In the end, we were very proud of the project when it left at the end of the school year,” said Doyle.

The stations have been with the city since mid-June and according to Mayor Terry Ugulini, are scheduled to be installed on their concrete bases as soon as the weather allows. The city donated installation services to help make the project a reality.

With the help of TSS, the 11-member Lions chapter was able to provide the stations to the city for a much-more-manageable bill of less than $1,000, said Beamer, adding she and her fellow club members are proud they were able to provide a benefit to the city while also providing TSS students an opportunity to make a contribution as well. She said as part of the stations’ installation, the club wants to include a plaque recognizing the club’s centennial and the contributions of Thorold Secondary.

In the meantime, the club is planning for its next fundraising effort: The Thorold Lions’ Spring Sociable. The casual-dress dinner and dance is planned for April 6 at the John Michaels Banquet and Event Centre in Thorold South. Entertainment is provided by musician Pat Hewitt. Tickets can be purchased from Thorold Lions members or at (search for “Thorold Lions”). Anyone looking for more information or interested in becoming a Thorold Lion can contact Susan Beamer at (905) 892-6846.