Kathy Shaw isn’t sure, but she believes that it’s been 20 years since the last time the Bike-A-Thon has been done in Wauseon. That would make it overdue…seriously overdue. Kathy is the Director of Triangular Processing in Wauseon, and the event of the afternoon of April 23 was the Bike-A-Thon.
“The purpose of the event,” Kathy said, “…is to bring awareness to the anti-bullying message, and to spread the word to end the word. Some people get confused, and think that this is all about political correctness. It’s not. It’s about the awareness that when we peg and label individuals with disabilities, it does have consequences. It does hurt their feelings, and it separates us instead of bringing us together. Today’s event is meant to be a community event to raise awareness, as well as to raise a little bit of money so that we can increase the level of services that we provide to individuals with disabilities.” That is the main mission of Triangular Processing.
Kathy described Triangular Processing in further detail. saying, “We are a non-profit. We provide services to individuals with disabilities from a community integration standpoint, a vocational standpoint, and many know us from our work at the recycling center, because we do the recycling work for the County, and the County Commissioners have supported us. We are grateful to them to let us do that for them.”
For the first time back in two decades, the attendance numbers were strong as over fifty showed up to bike, walk, or in one case skate the six mile course. Looking back, Kathy said, “I think it’s like everything else. I think it becomes a lot of work, and people get distracted and wonder if maybe they should change it up and try something new. We just felt that it was really important to do an event to bring people together, and show people that we’re more alike than we are different. You can send letters out, and you can post stuff on Facebook. It doesn’t do the same thing as when you actually spend time with each other, so we wanted to do a family-friendly event where folks could be together.”
Kathy expressed her gratitude to the congregation of the North Clinton Mennonite Church where the event was staged, as well as the Fulton County Health Center, the Farmers and Merchants State Bank, Andres O’Neal Insurance and Ace Hardware, all of which provided corporate sponsorship of the event.
“Our hope is to make this an annual event once again,” Kathy said. Judging by the outcome of the first event after a 20-year layoff, it looks like Kathy is going to get her wish.