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Caribou VFW holding month-long bike raffle

CARIBOU, Maine — The Caribou VFW is hosting a free spring bike raffle for the duration of March in which one boy and one girl in three age groups (0-7, 8-12, and 13-17) will be given a free bike and helmet. 

A drawing will then be held at 6 p.m. on March 31 and streamed live via the VFW Post 9389 Facebook page. 

VFW Post 9389 Commander Roger Felix said that while the VFW does plenty of community outreach, such as the Voice of Democracy essay contest and community food drives, this is the first time they’ve held a bike raffle. 

“We had one of our meetings and we were talking about how most of our community service assists the elderly and veterans, and we thought about what we could do to make sure the youth of our communities knew we were thinking of them,” he said. “This past year has been tough, so we’re trying to include something that would get kids outside and have some fun. And what better way than to get on a bike and take a ride?”

At first, the raffle started off as just two bikes, with the plan to purchase a bike for that age group after the drawing, but Felix and others members of the VFW soon decided to purchase six bikes.

“And now we’re getting a lot of entries for little bitty kids who are just 1 to 2 years old, so we may even separate that into its own category and we might end up with eight bikes altogether,” he said.

The raffle is free to enter, and there are no income requirements. So far Felix said the VFW has spread the word to several local schools and town offices and has received numerous student entries as of March 11.

He said the bike rides are especially important amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It seems like more and more kids are isolating themselves in their homes and living in that virtual reality,” he said. “We thought that since we basically live in an outdoor paradise up here, it’d be nice to get kids outside and take advantage of God’s beauty that we have right in front of us.”

Altogether, Felix said about 20 members of the VFW are involved with the raffle. 

Anyone interested in entering just needs to send an email with their name, age, and preferred contact information to VFW9389@maine.rr.com. This information can also be sent to the VFW Post 9389 Facebook page or to VFW, PO Box 478, Caribou, Maine 04736.

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