After the Blessing of the Bicycles – What Next?

Patrick the Cyclist and Science Teacher

On October 7th, Pastor Candy will bless the bicycles. Then what will we do??? PROTECT THE CYCLISTS AND THEIR BICYCLES!!! Each and every one of us! We must protect all vulnerable people on the road – cyclists and pedestrians alike. How can we do this? By not touching our cell phones when we are driving. By being responsible and accountable for operating a motorized vehicle and giving our full attention to operating a “weapon” weighing thousands of pounds. By not engaging in cell phone distracted driving, putting others at risk of injury and death.

Debbie Wanninkhof, who has been working with our children in Sunday School for Just Peace Month, will present a program after worship on October 14th in Kelsey Hall to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Debbie lost her 25-year-old son Patrick because of the careless, thoughtless act of a cell phone distracted driver. She now chooses to honor Patrick by speaking about this epidemic problem in the hope of saving other lives.

Patrick Wanninkhof’s efforts to help others extended far beyond his high school classroom in the Bronx where he taught physics and computer science. He had a love of learning and teaching, and a passion for social justice. Patrick, a native of Miami, attended the University of Florida where he majored in Material Science and Engineering. After graduation, he joined the Teach for America Corps. Patrick was inspired by the struggles of his own students and their need for a secure home and a good education. A distracted driver tragically killed him in the summer of 2015 while he was cycling for the charity Bike and Build.

You have the power to save lives by driving phone-free. You have seen the slogan “Put it down.” Debbie goes one step farther when she asks you to “PLEASE, don’t even touch your phone while driving. The result could shatter lives.” Debbie will share some creative tips about strategies each of us can use to remind ourselves, and those we care about, to not touch our cell phones when driving.

The Outreach Committee will provide a light lunch for this event. Plan to be present!

SAVE LIVES – JUST DRIVE. Be a safe, smart, common sense driver.