The honoree of the latest issue (May-June 2018) of the Bikes4Kids Newsletter is our leader, Al Sannerud. Being the founder and leader of the B4K organization, it would be expected that the focus would have been on him in the first issue of the newsletter. However, Al being a very humble person with a servant’s attitude would not allow it. But recently, Al was honored as a US Army veteran of World War II to go on an “Honor Flight” to our nation’s capital and he has given his approval for this story:
On Saturday, April 7, 2018, Al Sannerud boarded a Sun Country flight to Washington D.C. along with 166 other people (half of whom were veterans of World War II and the Korean War). The purpose of this flight and trip called an “Honor Flight” was to honor the veterans for their service to this country and to provide them with the opportunity to see their service memorials. Each veteran must be accompanied by a “Guardian” to serve as a personal assistant for the veteran. This is usually a member or close friend of the family. Al Sannerud’s son Bob accompanied him as Guardian. [Read the Full Story …..]
In the volunteer spotlight of our Jan/Feb 2018 newsletter, is our chief mechanic, Ken Johnson. Being a very private person, it had been a challenge to get his story, but we finally got it and here it is:
I was raised on a dairy farm. Everyone was required to work on equipment, in the field, barn and other tasks. I was not so much the cow person although everyone had the chance to do ALL the farm tasks.
With the Vietnam Conflict going strong at that time and with the major I chose at college, I realized the Draft Board was not going to let me finish even 3 years of college. I enlisted in the USAF (4 good years) and became an electronic technician.
Following the military, I got a job In private industry, I transitioned away from electronics into chemical and mechanical disciplines. A business with technical background was not going to qualify me for an engineering position at Medtronic Inc. As a result, I decided to get a Mechanical Engineering degree. After 16 years and well over 400 credits, the U of Minn. granted me a Mechanical Engineering degree.
I spent 38.5 years at Medtronic. I had many different rolls with the Lab. The Lab had several different service related electronic and mechanical development identities over that 38 years at Medtronic in Cardiovascular field.
After I retired I looked for ways to continue using my skills. I knew many of the people in the B4Ks organization so in the fall of 2013 I started volunteering. Doing something good for kids and people one day a week was very attractive. Doing something mechanical was also attractive to me. I worked on my own bike when I was growing up and I have done bike things since. Tinkering with mechanics is in my wheelhouse and I am a DIY kind of person.
Bikes4Kids purposely separates the organization from the people that benefit from getting a bike. BUT, Once In A While I have seen, heard and read thank you notes from kids. The effects on people who receive a bike is amazing.
The B4Ks people quality also pulls a person deeper into the organization. The term NO is not an easy word or common word to use in the B4K vocabulary. Everyone at Bikes4Kids is a great asset to the organization!
The 700th Bike!
Thank You Volunteers!
Do you want to volunteer?
Thank you, we welcome your support.
Volunteers donate their time, talent and hearts to bring joy and mobility to children and adults in need. If you want to give your time, there is no shortage of ways to help. Our volunteers participate in events and collect, repair, clean and deliver bikes to our partner organizations.
If you are interested, please fill out the form on this page and we will contact you.