On the Sannerud family farm, up in Ham Lake, it was a September pig roast and outdoor picnic, where volunteers, guests and dignitaries gathered to mark a milestone.
Dave Bonthius of Anoka is a longtime Bikes4Kids volunteer and was the MC for the afternoon, "Welcome to everybody that's here today on a very special occasion as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Bikes4Kids."
Over the past decade, the Bikes4Kids organization has repaired and delivered thousands of bikes to people in need. The celebration, however, was bittersweet for the family and friends of Al Sannerud, He died this past June at the age of 97. Not only was Al a cofounder of the 501c3 nonprofit organization, but he and his wife Betty also provided the facilities for bike repair, out on the farm.
Bikes4Kids presented a plaque of appreciation to Al’s wife Betty and family. Son, Paul Sannerud, spoke on behalf of the family, “For somebody who could've just taken the easy retirement route, it gave him so much life."
The guest list included over 60 volunteers who have helped reclaim used bikes, repair them, and get them into the hands of those in need. Ken Johnson has volunteered to refurbish bikes, at the farm for eight years. Johnson said, "It seems like we've kind of hit a plateau here at about a 1,000 to 1,100 bikes a year. And that's not such a bad thing, I mean, you can only do so much with the amount of facilities that you have."
The Sannerud family says Bikes4Kids will continue to operate on the family farm for some years to come. Paul Sannerud said, “I'm sure there's a little bit of regret that he, (Al Sannerud) couldn't be here. But I think he's just happy that it continues on with so many people."
For more information on Bikes4Kids, click here.