Three members of the Bexley City Schools community received the district's Keymaker Award at the Aug. 22 board of education meeting.

Three members of the Bexley City Schools community received the district's Keymaker Award at the Aug. 22 board of education meeting.

Parent Ken Grace and students Will Stevens and Howard Wang were recognized for "going above and beyond" with their spring bicycle project. Their teamwork and special skills allowed several Bexley students and their family members to have a set of wheels with which to get around this summer.

Bexley's nonprofit Developmental Assets Resource Network (DARN) has collected gently used bicycles to pass on to students in need since its inception in 2004.

"Bexley is a small, 'bike-able' community and, when students have their own bikes, they can get to some of our classes or summer activities," noted DARN board member Barb Greiner, who works for the Bexley Recreation Department.

This year, Greiner's fellow DARN board member, Kelly Holden Allen, was thinking ahead when she helped organize the community's annual April Clean Up event. As part of the clean-up, Allen asked residents to drop off their used bicycles, along with electronics and other difficult-to-dispose-of items. DARN ended up with 19 bicycles, in all sizes and conditions.

Enter Bexley schools parent and friend of DARN, Ken Grace, who lent his talents last year to repair and restore the donated bikes. Willing to help out again, he set up a makeshift bike garage at his house in South Bexley and, on a Saturday in May, was joined by Bexley Middle School student Will Stevens and Bexley High School student Hao "Howard" Wang.

Grace and DARN provided supplies like lubricants and tire patch kits so that the guys could service the 16 bikes that were in good enough shape to be repaired.

"Will brought his own bike tools, worked a few hours, and had a great time. Even though he's only 13, he can take bikes apart and put them back together," said Terri Stevens, Will's mother.

The counselors at each Bexley school figured out which student fit each bike and facilitated bicycle the hand-offs. With funds raised through the year, including at Jeffrey Shop Hop, DARN furnished helmets and bike locks for the new bicycle owners, setting each up with a bicycle license from the Bexley Police Department.

"The bike project perfectly illustrates DARN's mission: Using community assets to meet community needs," Greiner said. "We've got many generous people and lots of resources in Bexley. With some collaboration and coordination, we can help out the kids who need it most."