After a successful GoFundMe campaign and several community donations, Parksville senior Fred Buott received a brand-new electric tricycle from Island Cycle on April 1.
Buott, a pensioner who collects bottles and cans to supplement his income, was run off the side of the road by a truck last July, damaging his old tricycle and making it unsafe to ride. Buott relies on his bike for his daily to get to the bottle depot.
After a failed GoFundMe campaign last year, Sarah Caruso, a Parksville resident who has known Buott for quite a while through Island Self Storage, where she works, started a new campaign on Feb. 4.
The campaign raised $1,867 from 38 separate donors and $3,040 in additional funds were donated from local businesses and community members. With the donations, Buott was able to receive a new electric tricycle with an extra battery, a new helmet, two mirrors, rechargeable high-beam light, two large bike locks and a high-viz waterproof jacket.
Remaining funds will potentially go towards additional safety gear, insurance and future maintenance and repairs.
Island Self Storage, along with a $1,000 donation, has also offered a space for Buott to lock his new electric bike up at their secure location each night.
Buott said his new bike will allow him to carry more weight and he plans to add a trailer hitch the back.
He was all smiles when he was finally able to test out his new bike for the first time around Hirst Avenue on Monday.
“Riding it home is going to be fun,” he said.