In 2021 the Bike Shop was christened the Dave Owen and Dick Harris Memorial Bike Shop in honor of two of its long time volunteeer leaders.
Joel David Owen
Joel David Owen (Dave) joined the Christmas Toy Shop in 2007 working with matchbox toys.
He soon moved into the Bike Shop fixing up used bikes for distribution to children at Christmas. He loved seeing the happiness and the gratitude of the parents who couldn't afford bikes for their children.
Dave traveled all over the US trouble shooting for the Framatome Nuclear Power Company, located in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was working at the Crystal River Nuclear facility when he retired in 2006. Because of his illness, Dave retired from the Christmas Toy Shop in 2019 after 12 years of doing what he loved, fixing bikes for the kids. He passed away on March 28, 2020.
Dick Harris was born March 24, 1928 in Portland, Maine. He lived in there until he was 16 years old when his family moved to St. Petersburg. He was a WWII veteran. After serving in the military, he went to work for the St. Petersburg Police Department as a motorcycle policeman where he was nicknamed “Pinky” because of his red complexion. After 25 years with the department, he retired in 1978.
Dick started volunteering at the Christmas Toy Shop in 1991 and did so for 28 years. Working with bicycles was something he enjoyed. The Toy Shop was his second love. He was always very proud of the number of bicycles he repaired and looked forward to giving them away each Christmas. Dick left the Toy Shop in 2019 when he moved to Tampa to be closer to his daughter. He passed on October 15, 2020.
Video from 2019 of the bike shop crew.