“We will be sponsoring an after school Bike Club for students at East End Community School,” said Tom Doherty, executive director, of Camp Ketcha this afternoon. Doherty was talking about new programs that the upcoming expansion plans of the non-profit ‘Portland Hub Gear’ will provide to the community around it on the East End of Portland. Doherty was speaking at the new location of ‘Hub” on Washington Avenue, prior to a fundraising event there put on by Greendrinks on behalf of the Hub.
Previously, on March 29, 20`17, the Hub announced herein its plans to relocate from its current St. John Street, Union Station Plaza location, to the East End. A retail and sales shop will be maintained at 155 Washington Avenue at the former Casales Garage that vacated the space a few years ago. A second facility in East Bayside was anticipated to expand the Hub’s community involvement, although the location was not finalized until last week. Proceeds from the sale of the bikes at the Washington Avenue location go to support Camp Ketcha, at Pine Point.
The Bike Club which could start as soon as May 1st will actually be held at 85-87 Anderson Street. It’s a pilot program that will be run out of a new building in East Bayside built by developer Jonathan Culley – at 85 – 87 Anderson Street. The Bike Club is an after school program that will run five days a week from 3:05 pm – 6:00 pm. If the new program goes as expected, the Club will expand in the fall to twelve or thirteen members.
A second program for All Mainers is planned wherein people can get affordable transportation and the gear to go with it while learning road and safety skills at the same time. A third initiative, an open bench, will provide space for people to repair their own bikes – at $10. per hour in the same East Bayside location – 85-87 Anderson Street. The location is near the new Baharat restaurant.
The Portland Gear Hub had outgrown its space on St. John Street and was looking for a place to which it could expand said Doherty, a Munjoy Hill resident who has been executive director of Camp Ketcha for 11 years. The Hub could not run run its bike programs and retail shop simultaneously Doherty said. With these two new locations, it can do that. John Ritzo, a Munjoy Hill businessman owns the Washington Avenue property from whom the Hub will be renting. “Both Jonathan Culley (developer of Munjoy Heights and the new Hiawatha) and Jonn Ritzo are allowing us to rent the properties far below the market rate. They have been extremely generous to us,” said an appreciative Doherty. Camp Ketcha is a traditional outdoor camp for children from 3 – 16 years old. It is known for its generous staff ratio of 1 staff to 5 campers, and outdoor activities including horse back riding, etc. Most of the Maine campers attend on scholarships.
“This is our third year of attending Greendrinks functions,” said Don Heatley, who was standing in line with friends at the gate to the fundraiser this evening. It’s a national organization. The majority of the people who come to these events are young people. We are among the oldest,” he said laughing. “It’s good networking. We meet different people and learn about organizations we don’t know about. We also get to sample local craft beers who donate their beer to the cause.”
For more information on the upcoming programs coming to the East End of Portland, please email Tom Doherty at: firstname.lastname@example.org