Crafton Tull’s acts of kindness include bicycle racks

By Tammy Keith Originally Published July 11, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated July 9, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.
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Nick Hillemann

Crafton Tull is celebrating its 50th anniversary with 50 acts of kindness, including partnering with a construction company to build bike racks for City of Hope Outreach in Oakwood Village and Brookside Mobile Village in Conway. From the left are Noemi Trujillo, 7; Michael Kidd, Oakwood community director; Jared Bridgman, survey technician for Crafton Tull; Eric Trujillo, 9; and Brianna Kidd, director of the Oakwood Learning Academy.

Kids often hop on their bicycles to take part in City of Hope Outreach programs in two Conway mobile-home parks, but when they hop off, there is nowhere to safely park their bikes.

A good deed will change that.

Crafton Tull, an engineering, architecture and surveying company, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year by performing 50 acts of kindness.

Nine of those will be in Conway, home of the company’s largest branch office.

The company has partnered with Resecker Construction of Morrilton to build bike racks in the two mobile-homes parks in Conway.

Michael Kidd, community director for City of Hope Outreach at Oakwood Village, one of the mobile-home parks in Conway, suggested the project.

Kidd said Jared Bridgman, a former City of Hope Outreach staff member who works at the Conway branch of Crafton Tull, said the firm’s staff decided they wanted to do more community outreach.

“One of the things we ran into last year with our summer program,” Kidd said, “[was that] kids were riding their bikes and just piling them up.”

Sometimes the bicycles were accidentally run over, he said.

Bridgman, 24, said he was on staff at the City of Hope Outreach while he attended the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. He still sometimes volunteers with the organization, and his wife, Jennica, is the staff photographer.

“I’m still friends with a lot of the staff,” Jared Bridgman said. “I said, ‘Hey, what do you guys need?’”

He was told about the need for bicycle racks.

“They sort of pile [the bikes] up, and there’s nowhere to lock them up for security,” Bridgman said.

He said Crafton Tull was on board with the idea.

“Crafton Tull has always wanted to be involved with the community — the people I work with and the company as a whole,” Bridgman said.

The bicycle rack at Oakwood will hold about 10 bicycles; the one at Brookside Mobile Village will hold four, Kidd said.

The nonprofit ministry program, which includes church services, after-school tutoring, summer meal programs and more, began at Oakwood Village.

A trailer is being renovated at Brookside to serve as City of Hope Outreach’s headquarters, Kidd said.

Kidd said the bike-rack idea was “solidified” after an offer from Erik Leamon, owner of The Ride, a bicycle shop in Conway.

He said Leamon will provide two to four bicycles to each mobile-home community.

“We’ll loan those out to Brookside and Oakwood [residents] to ride to interviews,” Kidd said. “Maybe [residents] need to go to the grocery store, and they don’t want to walk.

“One, it makes them more independent, and it alleviates us to have to stop everything we’re doing to give them a ride.”

He said a bicycle lock system will be arranged, too.

Fletcher said the idea is to loan the bicycles for a week at a time, and The Ride will provide maintenance for the bikes.

“A lot of people have to walk because there’s no public transportation in Conway,” Fletcher said.

“Overall, it’s a great idea between Crafton Tull and Resecker, and also The Ride in town. It’s a good initiative for everybody involved,” he said.

Crafton Tull has offices in Arkansas, including Conway and Russellville, and in Oklahoma.

Bridgman, who said the Conway office primarily offers surveying services, said he was part of the group that got to pick acts-of-kindness projects for the city.

Other projects that have been completed or are upcoming include handing out carnations to every nursing-home resident in Conway, picking up trash along Tucker Creek, collecting paper products for the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas, collecting items for food pantries, cooking for city employees, cooking for the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, volunteering at the Conway Animal Shelter and hosting a game day, with the proceeds donated to charities.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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