Torch Club members repair bikes, donate to children in need

Members of the Torch Club repaired donated bikes for the Wheels for Kids workshop. The bikes were donated to children in need in Bridgeport for Christmas gifts. The Torch Club is part of the Redding Easton Boys and Girls Club.

The Torch Club boys rolled up their sleeves this holiday season volunteering their time and talents at the Wheels for Kids workshop at  Cannondale bike headquarters in Bethel.

Donated kids’ bikes in all sizes and colors were repaired and cleaned and then given as Christmas gifts to children in need in Bridgeport.

The Torch Club was one of many groups donating used bikes at this community service event. Reilly Haughan, an eighth grader, coordinated the club’s efforts and was at the event.

“We collected 38 bikes in total. I thought it was fun,” said Reilly.

The Torch Club is an organization geared for middle school students and is part of the Redding Easton Boys and Girls Club. Community service is just one aspect in which the club is involved. The club’s primary goal is to encourage and develop leadership skills through community service to the club, community, education, health and fitness and social recreation.

In November, Dr. Thomas McMorran, head of school at Joel Barlow High School, spoke to the group about leadership, emphasizing that understanding the needs of the followers is an important skill to being a good leader.

Future activities include a trip to Chinatown in New York City or a trip to Six Flags Adventure Park.

To fund these activities, the club will be selling candy bars at upcoming basketball games by coordinating efforts with Sarah Ota’s Torch group.

Alison Stauffer, an eighth grade student at John Read Middle School who has been a member of the Torch Club for two years, said she likes being a part of the club because, “We are all working together without too much help from adults. We can work independently.”

Matt Dorenbosch, an eighth grader at John Read and club treasurer, said he “likes helping out in the community and working with friends.”

Alison and Matt are chairmen of the Social Recreation Committee.

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