Onbikes ‘Santa’s Bike Shop’ hosting volunteer bike build at Amalie Arena

onbikes bike build
Volunteers will assemble more than 1,000 bikes for kids in need.

Beginning at noon on Friday, volunteers from Tampa General Hospital and members of the community will gather in an impromptu Santa’s workshop to build bikes for kids in need.

Onbikes, a Tampa nonprofit that works to ensure kids in need have access to bikes, is kicking off its “Let it Glow” holiday season of giving with the bike build, which will bring together volunteers from several organizations to build bikes for more than 1,000 children throughout the Tampa Bay region.

“Every pedal and every wheel assembled in Santa’s Bike Shop brings us closer to the joy and excitement of giving,” said Onbikes Executive Director Tara Knauss-Wilga.

“As we build these bikes, we’re not just creating gifts; we’re crafting opportunities for adventure and freedom for every child who receives them. This is the magic of the season, and we at Onbikes are thrilled to spread this joy to every corner of our community.”

Tampa General Hospital is the presenting sponsor of this year’s Santa’s Bike Shop Bike Build. Volunteers from the hospital as well as others will be building bikes from noon to 3 p.m. at Amalie Arena, and again from 4-7 p.m.

Members of the public were encouraged to participate.

“Here’s your chance to help out a great cause and have some fun at the same time! We’ll be getting our hands dirty, laughing, and learning together as we construct these amazing bicycles from scratch,” a Facebook post promoting the event touts. “When we’re finished, all the bikes will be shipped out and donated to kids in need who may never receive a bike without your help!”

For those signed up to volunteer, enter through the Ashley VIP Lounge and through Thunder Alley inside the arena. Volunteers should arrive 30 minutes early and dress warmly since it is, after all, an ice rink for the Tampa Bay Lightning when not serving as Santa’s Bike Shop.

The event will feature coffee and hot chocolate stations and showings of A Christmas Story during the first portion of the build and Elf during the second. Both will be shown on the arena’s Jumbotron as volunteers assemble bikes.

Special guests will include the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Blue Crew, Thunderbug, Santa and his elves.

The event comes the week before Onbikes hosts its 2023 Winter Wonder Ride, a charitable bike ride that raises funds to purchase bikes to further the nonprofit’s mission. That event is Dec. 9 and riders begin at Curtis Hixon Park. More information and registration is online.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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