The Spokesman offers a Harrisburg Bicycle Club Membership Application/Renewal in each publication, and one of the line items listed in the Annual Dues section is Optional “HBC Janet A. Pontius Safety Fund” Contribution.  You may or may have not added a contribution to your annual dues for the Janet A Pontius Safety Fund, but did you wonder why the fund exists, what its purpose is or why you should consider a contribution?

Janet A. Pontius was a member and the secretary of HBC in 1976 who enjoyed riding her bicycle – the same as most of us.  On October 15 of that year, a bright sunny day, Janet was struck and killed by the side mirror of a van while riding midday on Colonial Road in Lower Paxton Township.  She was an experienced rider, the weather conditions were excellent and by all indications, she was doing everything according to the safety rules for bicycle riding.  It was a tragedy and the driver of the van was charged with involuntary manslaughter.  A group of concerned citizens established a Janet A. Pontius Safety Foundation to honor her memory, and to try to promote safety measures to help avoid such tragedies in the future.  Initially, the Foundation made an annual Safety Award consisting of a monetary award and a suitable certificate close to the time of Janet’s birthday, April 28th, to a nominee who exhibited exemplary bicycle safety.  Since that time, the HBC has established the Janet A. Pontius Safety Fund that has been used to promote safety measures for bicycle riders.  In the past, the monies from the Fund have been used to offer discounts on the purchase of bicycle helmets, for the ID/Insurance stickers to be adhered to the inside of helmets, to purchase helmets for underprivileged children, for the ID tags that were offered free to members in 2006, for the discounted RoadID gift cards, and for other bicycle safety measures.

HBC is again sponsoring the Helmet Drive this June by offering a $10.00 coupon toward the purchase of a new ANSI or SNELL certified helmet from participating bike shops.  The coupon is in this issue of the Spokesman, and you may use it from June 1st through June 30th, 2012.  And, when you renew your HBC membership, please consider a donation to the Janet A. Pontius Safety Fund.  You will benefit by it!