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Area bicycle group helping those in need

Buck Hefner, left, and Jon Hicks cut trees and stack wood in the Third Winchester Battlefield recently. Photo courtesy of Mike Perry

Winchester Wheelmen split, deliver wood for CCAP

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

The Winchester Wheelmen Bicycle Club have volunteered over the years to help take care of the biking and walking trails at the Third Winchester Battlefield.

Four years ago, the group decided to help cut up some of the fallen trees in the Battlefield and give the firewood to the Congregational Community Action Project in Winchester. CCAP is a cooperative ministry of churches and one synagogue serving Winchester and Frederick County that have joined together to provide financial, material and supportive assistance to people in need.

"It just made sense to do this act," Bill Huehn said. "They'll call us whenever they get clients that need wood and we'll go out and split it and deliver it to [CCAP]."

Huehn and Wheelmen vice president Mike Perry enlisted the help of the other Wheelmen to help out on a volunteer basis.

Huehn said Perry has been the group's main organizer.

With more than 207 acres of land on the Third Winchester Battlefield, there are plenty of trees that fall down and need cutting.

"You never know when a tree is going to fall," Perry said. "As they say, it's like killing two birds with one stone."

They now keep stockpiles of the wood, and then deliver the truckloads as needed. Of course, this past year brought new challenges for the group.

Last June when the derecho hit the area, it did plenty of damage to the wooded areas of the Third Winchester Battlefield. Perry said more than 30 large trees were knocked down.
Then the Civil War Trust decided to take down 24 large dead trees along the trails in First Woods.

After that, Hurricane Sandy came through the area and knocked down many more trees.
Perry said that they have cut 74 loads of firewood this season, and delivered 46 loads of wood to CCAP.

Perry said it has been quite a busy year for the volunteers.

"My back certainly feels it," Perry said jokingly.

He said they try to find a time that works for all the volunteers and then go out and cut and stack the wood.

Perry said he's hoping this next year won't be quite as bad, but they'll be ready for it if it is.

The group has received several thank you notes from Civil War Trust, and a personal note from Jim Lighthiser, trust president.

Perry said it's just something the group likes to do to help those in need.

"It just makes sense," Perry said. "The bike club does various charities and things like that. This is something we want to do. It just works for us."

Contact assistant sports editor Tommy Keeler Jr. at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com


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