Thieves make off with bikes used for reading program
The Quincy Masonic Lodge is asking the community for help after thieves made off with several bikes that were to be given away to school children in the club’s Bikes for Books program.
Within the last few months, someone broke into the lodge’s storage area where the bikes were held. However, the break-in was not discovered by the club until earlier this month, said Roy Sharp of the Quincy Masonic Lodge.
It was the first time anyone has stolen a bike from the club, which secures sponsorships each year to pay for the bikes, Sharp said.
The bikes are used as an incentive to get area children to read, Sharp explained. This year marks the 10th year the club has been providing a bike to one boy and one girl at George Elementary School, Monument Elementary School and Mattawa elementary schools.
At the schools, students receive a ticket for every book they read. The tickets are entered into a drawing for the bikes, which are given away just before spring break. The winners also receive a bike safety helmet.
The club also provides two bikes to each of the libraries in George, Quincy and Mattawa for their summer reading programs.
That smile a child has after winning a bike is the most rewarding part of the program for him, Sharp said.
Stolen from the lodge were nine boys bikes and a girls bike. Lucky for the club, the Quincy Police Department recovered three of the bikes last year after coming across a man walking three brand-new bikes down the street. The bikes still had their paperwork with them. The suspicious person could not prove he owned the bikes, so police confiscated them. Sharp was able to identify the bikes as the club’s when he went to file a police report.
So that means the club still needs to purchase five boys bikes and a girls bike. The club needs to raise another $700 to replace the bikes.
To help the Quincy Masonic Lodge replace the bikes, contact Sharp at 881-5459.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, firstname.lastname@example.org