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      Closed Syracuse Fire Station 7 re-opens as part of bike giveaway

      It's the 18th year for the Central New York Family Bicycle Giveaway, and the good news for the many volunteers who help refurbish the donated bikes, is that they'll have a warm place to do their fix-up work.

      Jan Maloff heard on the news that the Syracuse Fire Department's Station 7 was closing, and asked City Hall if he could use it.He got an answer the next day, and has the rent free and heat-included use of the building. 'It may not be the use everyone wanted," he tells us, "but it's getting used."

      The bike donations---they're hoping for 25-hundred to 3-thousand this year--will still be made at the State Fairgrounds. That part of the program starts this Saturday, and they'll run 11am to 7pm, every day until the week before Christmas.

      The donated bikes will be ferried to the East Fayette Street firebarn where teams of volunteers will check the tires and brakes, add missing parts and tune them up. Maloff says most of his volunteers are in their 60s and 70s, and the warmer working conditions will be a lot more comfortable for them.

      A volunteer who's already helping move the bikes into the fire station (several hundred were donated over the summer)says just seeing the gratitude of those who get the bicycles makes it worth the work. Samisha Gallo says it's amazing how one family's junk can be so valued by the children--and adults--who get the refurbished bikes.

      Central New York Family Bicycle Giveaway Details:

      Needed: 25-hundred to 3-thousand bikes, especially young children sizesDropoff: State Fairgrounds, starting Saturday (November 23) 11am - 7pm every day til December 20$$ donations--to cover parts for refurbishing:Advance Cycleryc/o 319 Barrington RoadSyracuse NY 13214Giveaway Day: exact date/place still being worked out