Eastlick hosts “Bikes for Best” charity

Seniors+Isabella+Ramos+and+Jessica+McGregor+put+together+a+bike+for+Bikes+for+Best.+Both+the+young+republicans+and+young+democrats+helped+build+the+50+bikes.

photo by Shannon Hahn

Seniors Isabella Ramos and Jessica McGregor put together a bike for “Bikes for Best.” Both the young republicans and young democrats helped build the 50 bikes.

“Bikes for Best,” a charity started by senior Reagan Eastlick, works to supply bikes to eager, less fortunate children for Christmas at no cost to them. On Dec. 2, from 9-12:00 p.m,  Eastlick, with the help of volunteers from the Young Republicans and Young Democrats clubs,  put together 50 new bikes, which were donated to charities to be distributed as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children.

These bikes will be donated to “Baby DJ,” a charity that distributes money and Christmas gifts among central Florida families.

“The bikes are going to families and children in need around the local community,” Eastlick said.

Eastlick started “Bikes for Best” by going to St. Luke’s church and school and fundraising $7,500 for the bikes. He then contacted Ace Hardware to buy the bikes in bulk.

Eastlick worked hard for his charity, doing the majority of the hard work by himself, such as fundraising and carrying and storing the bikes.

Eastlick faced many challenges while organizing this event, for example, when his first order of bikes came in, Eastlick only received 30 of the 50 he ordered. After talking to the manager at the ACE hardware he bought them from, the manager agreed to give him 20 better bikes to make up for the confusion. Eastlick also had to deal with tearing his ACL, which he had done at a soccer game the day before.

“We managed to overcome the supply chain crisis through the benevolence of one man, Dan Tanner of Ace Hardware,” Eastlick said. 

Eastlick created the charity to honor his mentor, Paul Best. Best was a teacher at St. Luke’s when Eastlick was there as a student, and later, a volunteer. He quickly took inspiration from Best, as he helped at St. Luke’s daily.

“I think he saw a lot of himself in me. And I just loved the guy. He was in the Army, 1000 [different] things. He’d go on 50 mile bike rides, even though he was 70 years old. He was really something. I thought this is the type of guy I want to be when I grow up.” Eastlick said.

Best later died after being hit by a reckless driver in August of 2020. For Eastlick, having someone as inspirational as Best made him want to find a way to honor him. He looked up to Best for his work ethic and fitness at his age. He took this inspiration and turned it into a charity that helps kids get what they want for Christmas.

“I was sitting there and I was thinking, how can I honor this guy?” Eastlick said.

While Eastlick is graduating this year and will no longer be able to run “Bikes for Best,” he hopes it will still live on. 

“There’s no limit to what a person can accomplish as long as they don’t care who gets the credit,” Eastlick said.

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