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Funky Phoenix on a roll to provide used bikes to community members

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Funky Phoenix on a roll to offer used bikes to group members

LEOMINSTER — Josiah Lopez, 6, was all smiles as he tried out a number of totally different bicycles throughout a Funky Phoenix used bicycle giveaway on July 26 that was hosted by Play It Once more Sports activities on North Fundamental Avenue earlier than deciding on some wheels to take residence.

Pals Henry Ramirez and Jorge Vargas, each from Leominster, pick used bicycles for Vargas’s three younger grandchildren on the Funky Phoenix used bicycle giveaway on July 26 hosted by Play It Once more Sports activities on North Fundamental Avenue in Leominster. DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE

Play It Once more proprietor/supervisor Sandy Pellecchia stated that there have been no bicycles left on the finish of the occasion out of the 2 dozen or in order that had been dropped off, and that the collaboration between her enterprise and Funky Phoenix Used Bicycle Repairs and Gross sales proprietor Robert Levine started over Fb.

“Throughout COVID there was a good time of want for bikes,” she stated. “Nobody was capable of get them, and Funky Phoenix was doing all he may to get free or low-cost bikes within the palms of those that wanted them. He restores and offers bikes to those that want them most.”

Pellecchia stated Levine works third shift, and as such was residence sleeping throughout the giveaway that befell from 1 to six p.m. and attracted many individuals.

“I informed him he’s a hero in our group,” she stated.

Levine, who has lived principally in Leominster since 2000, stated that by alternative he has by no means pushed a automobile.

“I began out driving my bike to high school and later to commute to work, so a necessity become a pastime become a enterprise,” he stated. “I do benefit from the side of bringing a motorcycle again to useable situation so a child can get that good time driving.”

Play It Once more Sports activities proprietor/supervisor Sandy measures a motorcycle with employees member Max Hytinen on the Funky Phoenix used bicycle giveaway on July 26 that was hosted by the North Fundamental Avenue enterprise. DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE

The Funky Phoenix motto is “turning funk into junk,” and that’s precisely what Levine does. Folks donate bikes to him, together with lots of from police departments and recycling facilities all around the state, and he finds bikes and restores them. He then presents the fixed-up youth and grownup bicycles at no or low value and presents restore providers for a nominal payment. He stated that “precedence is given to charity work” throughout peak bike season.

“The continued and resupplying of free bikes is completed each day,” Levine stated, including that he builds and repairs bicycles within the basement of the house constructing he lives in, an area that he pays for only for this function. He stated he’s normally residence from work by 7 a.m. and works on the bikes from 8 a.m. to midday most days.

“Within the low season bikes that had been shelved might be executed, and inbound repairs should take into account timeframe with consideration to this mission and endeavor,” he stated.

6-year-old Leominster resident Josiah Lopez tried out a number of totally different bikes earlier than deciding on one to take residence throughout a Funky Phoenix used bicycle giveaway on July 26 that was hosted by Play It Once more Sports activities on North Fundamental Avenue. DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE

Levine stated that at the start of the pandemic lots of people got here to him asking about bikes, which had been in excessive demand. He offered “rather a lot” and gave away 286 children bikes final yr — thus far this yr he has given away about 120 bikes.

Pellecchia stated it is very important her and her co-owner husband, who has lived in Leominster for 40 years and she or he has lived right here for 15, to offer again to their group by means of occasions such because the bike giveaway.

“We’re part of how nice it has been and is changing into,” she stated of their residence metropolis. “We have now constructed relationships with a lot of individuals in our city and in surrounding cities. The friendships kind principally round sports activities, which we consider is a superb supply of bodily improvement and social expertise, however then later bloom into connectedness. For this we’re actually grateful.”

Pellecchia stated they had been completely satisfied to host the occasion that benefitted so many group members, and that they’ll in all probability do extra used bike giveaways with Funky Phoenix sooner or later.

“Each Play It Once more Sports activities and Funky Phoenix assist individuals who want sporting items get gear at very cheap costs,” she stated. “Our focus is to get to know our clients after which work with them to get them probably the most we probably can.”

Levine is not any stranger to being on the receiving finish in a time of want and as such can relate to his clients who come to him once they can’t afford a motorcycle for his or her little one. Three years in the past, he moved to Marlborough and lived there for a yr till a fireplace left him homeless and his father took him in so he may save up for an house.

“It was such a life shock,” he stated.

A couple of of the handfuls of used bikes restored by longtime Leominster resident Robert Levine of Funky Phoenix Used Bicycle Repairs and Gross sales that got away on July 26 at an occasion was hosted by Play It Once more Sports activities on North Fundamental Avenue. DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE

Levine turned to his religion and spoke to his religious chief, a rebbe, and requested him, “’how can I say thanks to the world and higher my group to indicate appreciation to all that helped me get again up?’” He stated the rebbe responded “with a thick Jewish accent, ‘I don’t know Robert, what’s it you do?’”

“I informed him I repair bikes, and he stated then you must do this and do it for everybody and at no cost,” Levine recalled. “So now I’m in my third yr doing good deeds.”

Levine stated he “will get blessings” doing what he does for different individuals in the neighborhood.

“Much less vital than the ethical here’s what you do,” he stated. “Perhaps you are able to do that for others.”

For extra info, comply with Funky Phoenix Used Bicycle Repairs and Gross sales on Fb.

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