20 04 2008

Volunteers need help readying donated bikes

Burton

The Flint Journal First Editions

April 19, 2008

Staff Report

http://www.mlive.com/news/flintjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-49/1208622017307520.xml&coll=5

Burton – Since Charles “Chuck” Easter rarely was seen without his bike, friends had hoped to keep his memory alive by donating 48 bicycles and 50 helmets to Whaley Children’s Center.

The idea was formed when donations began pouring in after Easter’s death Feb. 28, following a brutal beating.

About $10,000 was collected through fundraisers in early March, but most went to pay funeral expenses, said LaDonna Burton, a longtime friend of Easter’s.

Easter’s friends have collected about 15 bikes but said there’s only $300 in The Chuck Easter Bike Fund account set up through Citizens Bank.

“We would like to get the bikes ready to deliver to the Whaley center for the third or fourth week in May,” said Burton. “We are not doing as well as anticipated.”

Burton said Easter, who had a muscle condition known as dystonia since childhood, rode his Schwinn year-round and became part of many of the families he met, often accompanying them on family vacations and camping trips.

Christopher D. Cousino, 31, of Burton, who is charged with beating his roommate to death, is scheduled for a May 28 review following a forensic exam to determine if he is competent for trial and criminally responsible for his actions.

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