Friday, January 2, 2015

Rotary Bicycle Distributions in Cambodia Begin in 26 Days- Help us Reach our Goal!


You can help us provide 1,000 bicycles for impoverished children by supporting Rotary Wheels for Learning - an international program of the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst, District 7010. We will be distributing bicycles to children in need who require this valuable transportation to get to school.

Our volunteer team is comprised of 22 Rotarians and Friends from Ontario (District 7010) and British Columbia. Rotary Clubs represented on the team: Barrie, Peterborough-Kawartha Lakes, Orillia, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst.

Team members: Mike Cole-Barrie, John Gordon-Kilworthy, Richard Augustine-Kilworthy, Dawn Straka- Keene (Peterborough), Anne Marshall-Salt Spring, BC, Steve and Janice Hayhurst-Torrance, Lola Bratty-Gravenhurst, Leanne Johnson-Orillia, Bev McMullen-Bracebridge, Donna Carter-Kitchener, Marg Hundt-Peterborough, Sandra Culbert-Barrie, Mary Anne Marshall-Gravenhurst, Ed & Jill Pearcy- Kitchener, Katherine Gray-Stouffville, Margaret Taylor-Aurora, Alex Tilley-Bracebridge, Maureen Cassidy-Toronto, Lisa McCoy-Gravenhurst and Sophea Keo-Cambodia.

It's not too late to make your online donation at: $50/bicycle - tax receipts issued in Canada. Our team will spend three weeks in Cambodia distributing bikes in the rural areas. We'll send you a photo of your sponsored child with their bicycle after the distributions.

Help us reach this important goal of 1,000 bicycles, so not one child will miss out.  Above photo of team by Bev McMullen . Not all members present in photo.

Read this latest article from the Gravenhurst Banner, Metroland Media Publications:

You can keep track of our team's endeavors in Cambodia on the Rotary Wheels for Learning Facebook Page and at the this blog site.
School Children in Koas Krahlor, Battambang province, Cambodia

Happy New Year and Warmest Thanks from Cambodia,
Lisa McCoy,
Field Coordinator,
Rotary Wheels for Learning,
Rotary Club of Gravenhurst

Monday, July 21, 2014

Over $5,400 Raised for Bicycles for Cambodian Children at Gravenhurst Rotary Giant Garage Sale

OVER $5,400 was raised at our Gravenhurst Rotary Giant Garage Sale on July 5th and 6th. The funds raised will go towards Rotary Wheels for Learning bicycles for Cambodian Children who need a way to get to school. Many thanks to everyone who donated and volunteered. A special thanks to the Gravenhurst Curling Club for accommodating our sale and to Patrick Bongers for donating a huge garbage container. 

We have only 9 spots open for our next 3-week bicycle distribution trip to Cambodia – January 27th-February 17th – Open to all Rotarians and Friends – deadline to register is September 1st – don’t miss out on this rewarding adventure that will help so many children. Approx. trip cost (per person sharing):  US$2,500. Email: for trip details.
Team Members Prepare Bicycles and Affix Accessories Before Distributing to Children  

Team Members attend Bicycle Distribution Ceremonies at Rural Schools
Children Patiently wait to get their Rotary Bikes
Team Members Present the Bicycles to the Children
Team Members Prepare the Accessory Kits   

Saturday, May 31, 2014

GIANT GARAGE SALE for Rotary Wheels for Learning - July 5 & 6 - Gravenhurst Curling Club

Dear Rotarians, Friends and Supporters - Let Everyone know about:
Rotary Wheels for Learning Bicycles for Cambodian Children.
July 5th, 8-4 & July 6th, 9-4 - Gravenhurst Curling Club - 330 John St. N.
PLEASE call Lisa McCoy to DONATE CLEAN, GOOD USED (no clothing, or items in disrepair) or NEW ITEMS

705-644-0779 or email
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for the Friday (set-up) and Saturday and Sunday of the sale. Volunteer for an hour - or more.
With YOUR support we can provide hundreds of Cambodian Children with Bicycles to get to school!
This past January, our team of 29 Rotarians and Friends from Ontario went to Cambodia and provided 1,333 Bicycles to needy children. Help us do it again in January 2015.
Many Thanks for your support!
Lisa McCoy,
Rotary Club of Gravenhurst

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Team of Rotarians & Friends Distribute 1,333 Bicycles in Cambodia

 Keep reading for news on our 2015 Rotary Wheels for Learning Bicycle Distribution Trip to Cambodia!

During January and February 2014, our Team of Rotarians & Friends from across District 7010 (Ontario, Canada) provided 1,333 Cambodian children with bicycles enabling them to get to school. This, our third distribution trip to Cambodia, has now provided a grand total of 3,661 bicycles to impoverished children across the country.

The team traveled throughout Cambodia from January 25th to February 17th and distributed bicycles in 12 target locations in five provinces (Takeo, Kampong Speu, Siem Reap, Battambang and Phnom Penh).

Our 2014 team was comprised of 28 Rotarians & Friends:

Andrew Walton & Kat Beck

Donna Hanna & Beverly Rogers

Sue Whitley – Rotary Club of Parry Sound

John and Pat Hulme- Rotary Club of Bracebridge

Girvin & Cheryl  Devitt- Rotary Club of Bridgenorth,-Ennismore-Lakefield

Steve & Janice Hayhurst – Rotary Club of Gravenhurst

Carol Cartier & Pete Burrell

Mike & Mary Anne Kinsey- Rotary Club of Barrie-Kempenfelt

Marc Durocher- Rotary Club of Matheson

Lisa McCoy-Rotary Club of Gravenhurst

Steve and Andrea Roberts- Rotary Club of Haliburton

George Kadoke-Rotary Club of Haliburton

Brian & Dorothy Menton-Rotary Club of Haliburton

Ron & Margaret Walton-Rotary Club of Bracebridge

Doug Patterson

Elizabeth Harvey

Tony & Susan Davidson- Rotary Club of Bridgenorth,-Ennismore-Lakefield
Our 2014 Bicycle Distribution Team

During our five days of distributions in Battambang, we were joined by members of the Rotary Club of Battambang, Marram Woods from the Rotary Club of Haliburton and spouse Glenn, John Tange from the Rotary Club of Store Heddinge, District 1480, Denmark, and spouse Britta.

We were also very pleased to have Ken Little’s (Rotary Club of Gravenhurst) daughter Karly and her friend Kathleen Cook join us in Battambang to add their muscles to the bike assembly work.

We were very fortunate to have as our Local Guide and 24/7 Translator, Sophea Keo. He took care of our every need. Sophea is one of our A Mine Free World Foundation and Banyan Learning Tree volunteers here in Cambodia.

Another special thanks goes to team member Marc Durocher – who expertly photographed every bicycle recipient and all of the highlights of our trip.

We would also like to thank many of the cooperating organizations in Cambodia that helped choose the neediest of children requiring a bicycle to get to school and helped organize the distributions and ceremonies. They include:

Free The Bears –

Caring For Cambodia –

Banyan Learning Tree –

People Improvement Organization (PIO) –

Volunteer Development Children’s Association (VDCA) –

Om Chamnap, of Banyan Learning Tree and Rotarian Nouv Saroeun deserve a round of thanks – they made sure that every bike got to its target location ahead of our team.

Our team’s work involved attaching the pedals, lamps, bells, baskets and brackets to the bicycles that were delivered by trucks to our distribution location sites. We also straightened out all the handlebars, pumped hundreds and hundreds of tires, and performed ‘surgery’ to any bikes that befell damage during shipment on the rough Cambodian roads.
Our Team Prepares the Bicycles

At almost every distribution location, school directors, teachers and dignitaries had a special

Bicycle Distribution Ceremony planned. Members from our team would take turns attending the ceremonies and providing speeches to the local children and parents. One of our distributions was filmed and televised by Cambodian Channel 5.
The Bicycle Distribution Ceremony

Our team also brought over suitcases of donated items – school supplies, toys and clothes, laptops and toothbrushes and toothpaste, which were distributed at each location. Our team and its donations, bike tools and parts traveled many long hours on our 45-seat bus to each bicycle target location.

At each of our distributions, members from our local team provided a dental hygiene lesson, with demonstrations given by our team members on ‘the proper way to brush’. Following the lesson, we provided each child with a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush.
Teaching Dental Hygiene!

We all had a fabulous time whether at work or ‘at play’. Most of the bicycles were distributed in the rural areas, where our team worked alongside with rural folk on the bicycles. We also enjoyed many village-level experiences including cooking, boating and the local Battambang ‘Bamboo Train’.

Our team also visited many cultural and historical sites including Angkor Wat, the Killing Fields, Camp S-21 Genocide Museum, the Royal Palace, Phnom Sampov, a Silk Farm and the Cambodian Landmine Museum. At the end of the trip, we enjoyed three full days swimming, snorkeling and boating on the beaches and islands near Sihanoukville- a refreshing rejuvenation after sweating on bicycle assembly for three weeks under the hot Cambodian sun with temperatures in the 30’s most days.
Guided Tour of the Royal Palace

Our team of Rotarians and Friends gave their all to make sure each child received a bicycle in top-notch working order.

All this would not be possible without the generosity of each person, business, club or organization that donated bicycles to the cause – we pass along thanks from each child that received a bicycle.


We already have a team forming to head over to Cambodia to distribute more bikes to needy children. The three-week trip is open to all Rotarians and their Friends. The date is January 27th (arrive in Phnom Penh) to February 17th (depart Phnom Penh). Participants are responsible for booking their own return airfare (approx. $1,300 to $1,900) and ground costs including all transportation, accommodation and meals approximately US$2,200.

Plans are already underway to distribute bicycles in the following locations – we have a couple of new areas we will be targeting:

Svay Chrum District in Svay Rieng Province, Chi Pat in Koh Kong province, Phnom Penh, Battambang Province, Siem Reap Province and Takeo Province.

For further details contact Lisa , 705-644-0779

To donate towards our 2015 bike distributions, you can provide a child with a sturdy bicycle for $50 in your name, or in the name of a friend. You will receive a tax receipt (for donations in Canada) and a thank you letter. Once we complete our 2015 distributions, you will receive a photo of the child you supported with a bicycle.

Donations by cheque made out to ‘Rotary Club of Gravenhurst’. In memo field ‘RWFL’, and mailed to:

Rotary Club of Gravenhurst,

Box 888,

Gravenhurst, ON,

P1P 1V2


Here follow some photos of children supported by clubs throughout our 7010 District:

Rotary Club of Washago & Area-Centennial - 20 Bikes

Rotary Club of Barrie-Kempenfelt - 69 Bikes
Rotary Club of Matheson - 10 Bikes
Rotary Club of Bracebridge - 60 Bikes
Rotary Club of Parry Sound - 25 Bikes
Rotary Club of Peterborough-Kawartha Lakes - 10 Bikes
Rotary Club of Bridgenorth-Ennismore-Lakefield - 20 Bikes

Rotary Club of North Bay - 40 Bikes
Rotary Club of Haliburton - 11 Bikes
Rotary Club of Gravenhurst - 240 Bikes

Friday, January 24, 2014

District 7010 Rotarians and Friends Start Arriving Today to Distribute 1,333 Bicycles to Rural Students in Cambodia

Many thanks to Rotarians, Clubs, organizations and Individuals who donated towards this cause.

Over the next 3 and a half weeks, our team from the following clubs, will be busy traveling around Cambodia preparing and distributing 1,333 bicycles.

Club members hail from: Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Haliburton, Bridgenorth0Ennismore-Lakefield, Parry Sound, Barrie-Kempenfelt and Matheson.

Keep tuned to Rotary Wheels ForLearning on Facebook and here for further updates and photos.

From the February 2014 issue of The Rotarian:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Support Our Third Bicycle Distribution Trip To Cambodia Set for January 2014!

A BIG Hooray to the Rotary Club of Washago & Area-Centennial for donating $850 - which is 17 BICYCLES towards the Cambodia Bicycle Distribution Trip to Cambodia this January. Rotarians & Friends from District 7010 will be personally giving out these bikes to children in Cambodia. Photo Below: Chris Carmen from the Washago club presents John Cooper from the Gravenhurst Club with this awesome donation! 
A Big Thank You to Loon Lake, Gravenhurst Resident and Friend, David Bryce for raising funds for 50 ROTARY WHEELS FOR LEARNING BICYCLES for children here in Cambodia. These bicycles will be given out in January-February 2014, when our team of 30 Ontario Rotarians & Friends come to Cambodia on their 3-week bicycle distribution trip.

Visit Rotary Wheels for Learning on Facebook and give it a Like.

Our third bicycle distribution trip to Cambodia sees our largest group going over yet with 30 participants – Rotarians and Friends – from across District 7010. The trip filled up quickly this year – here follows the names of our illustrious and eager team:

Steve and Andrea Roberts, George Kadoke  PDG Brian and Dorothy Menton , Ron and AG Margaret Walton, Elizabeth Harvey, Doug Patterson, Mike Davidson, Tony and Susan Davidson, Andrew Walton and Kat Beck, Linda Cantle, Beverly Rogers, Sue Whitley, Dan Herbert and Janet Stead, John and Pat Hulme, Girvin and Cheryl Devitt, Carol Cartier and Pete Burrell, Mike and Maryanne Kinsey, Marc Durocher and Lisa McCoy. We have a local guide and translator, Sophea, that travels with our team.

Rotary Clubs represented on the trip are: Matheson, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Haliburton, Washago & Area Centennial, Bridgenorth-Ennismore-Lakefield, Parry Sound, Barrie-Kempenfelt and South Georgian Bay.

The team arrives in Phnom Penh Cambodia on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 and will spend 3 weeks distributing bicycles to needy students in the rural areas. Our current goal is to distribute 800 bicycles in 9 target locations – but we are happy to provide more if donations pour in.

Along with distributing bicycles, our team will be bringing over donations of schools supplies, used eyeglasses, toys and children’s clothes which we will give out at the schools and orphanages that we visit. At every bicycle distribution, a Cambodian dental professional will provide a dental hygiene lesson to the children, families and teachers there – so, we are also looking for donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Some of our distributions will be done with members of the local Rotary Club of Battambang. We will attend one of their meetings and enjoy a Cambodian dinner with them.

Our team will also get to visit many of Cambodia’s historic sites including: the famed temples of Angkor Wat, The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the Killing Fields, the Landmine Museum, the Royal Palace and National Museum. Our team enjoys local boat trips, cyclo rides and even ride the famous ‘Bamboo Train’. We see a lot of rural Cambodia that the average tourist does not see.

Our past two service trips to Cambodia saw a total of 2,328 bikes distributed to needy children enabling them to swiftly cover the miles to school. In the past 2 years, we also distributed 4 tons of rice, 1,231 family-sized mosquito nets and thousands of toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Our 2013 Bicycle Distribution Team
Our 2012 Bicycle Distribution Team

You can contribute to our team’s effort by making a tax-receiptable donation. $50 buys a bicycle for a child in Cambodia. Donations can be made online through PayPal on this site or at or by cheque to Rotary Club of Gravenhurst, Box 888, Gravenhurst, Ontario, P1P 1V2 (‘RWFL’ in memo field)
Steve Hayhurst from Rotary Club of Gravenhurst

Rotary Wheels for Learning is an international program of the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst. For more information Contact Patrick Bongers 705-689-1646

To donate items towards the trip contact Lisa McCoy 705-644-0779,

Rotary Wheels for Learning Links:

RotaryWheels4L on You Tube

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

GIANT Garage Sale a huge success – adds 60 Bikes to enable Cambodian Children to go to school!

Volunteers take a brief moment to pose for a photo before finishing setting up for the GIANT GARAGE SALE to benefit children in Cambodia. The Giant Garage Sale, now under the wing of the Rotary Clubs of Gravenhurst & Bracebridge, was held in July and raised more than $3,000 for children of rural Cambodia. This money will be used to purchase bicycles that enable rural kids to get to school and get an education – a truly life changing event for them! Each bicycle costs $50 and they will be distributed by Rotarians and friends in Cambodia in February 2014. If you’d like to donate a bicycle, or join us on the trip to distribute the bicycles, email , or click on the donate button on this page. $50 provides a bicycle to a needy child.

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the GIANT GARAGE SALE on July 6th & 7th, and to all of those who donated items to the cause! Many Thanks to the Gravenhurst Seniors Centre and their staff and friends for hosting our sale.

2013 List of Volunteers (in no particular order):
Pat Bongers and son, Evan Bongers
Nancy Beal
David Bryce
Linda and Jay Harrison
Carl and Lisa McCoy
Julie Alexander and Ron Anderson
Barb Adams
Madison Hughes. Kathryn Austin & Isabella Conte
George and Liz Rice
Nina Cole
Len Kurtz
Mark Clairmont
John and Pat Brownlee
Pat Bruin
Sharon Foley
Lynda Valcourt
Bonnie Saunders
Steve Hayhurst
Doug and Ann Tanner
Doug Patterson
Jim Reynolds
Mary Woodall
John and Joanne Twist
Jim and Marlyn Goodwin
Brian Menton
Pam Dunlop
Enno and Marina Hoekstra
David Reid
Rick Readman
Barb Adams