Cheektowaga mother hosts bike safety event in honor of late daughter
By Kristen Mirand,2023-06-09
About five years ago, 16-year-old Sherilann Lorenz was riding her bike down Union Road when she was hit by a car. She was then rushed to the hospital and died a few days later. Now in her honor, Sherilann's mother, Wendy, is helping the Cleveland Hill community understand why bike safety is so important.
"Our children are not supposed to leave us first," Lorenz said.
Lorenz lost her youngest child in July 2018.
"And that's when the nightmare all started," Lorenz said, "There's day that are just like I just wanna pick up my phone and call her and say, 'Hey did you see this or do you wanna do this.'"
Sherilann's mom said she was full of life.
'She just brightened up a room when she walked in...She was amazing," she said, "She was the type of kid that I used to have to call her to come home from school she absolutely loved being at school and being with her teachers and everything."
Sherilann had a passion for making a difference, and Wendy wanted to see how she could carry on that legacy. So, she started looking into the idea of bicycle rodeos.
"I'm like, 'Oh! This kind of looked like fun,' and I read up on it and I'm like, 'Oh, this is really kind of neat,'" she explained.
Lorenz started reaching out to different bike organizations and met Rob Brandon who has a passion for biking.
"That's when we started working together and it's been great ever since," Brandon said.
Eventually, Lorenz's idea turned into a non-profit, and Sherilann's Bicycle Rodeo was born.
"We've been adding a lot to what we've been doing. It's grown a lot," Brandon added.
"And the goal is to increase awareness for the kids so they know what's safe on the roads so events like Sherilann don't happen again," Brandon said.
Since 21, kids from pre-k to 8th grade from the Cleve Hill community spend a morning learning the importance of bike safety. This year's event, held in the parking lot of Cleveland Hill Schools, is on Saturday with 47 kids signed up ready to learn and have fun.
'And you see smiles on the kid that day they're just having fun and letting everything go and all of them are absorbing just ow to care for their bikes," Lorenz said.
While Lorenz hopes that Sherilann's Bicycle Rodeo will inspire other school communities to promote safety, this even helps keep her daughter's memory alive.
"She was just absolutely loving and always wanted to help people," Lorenz said.