Pandemic restrictions caused the Portage Fire Department to forego its annual bike auction to instead make bikes available through another means.

The event wrapped up last week, and Chief Phil Carpenter says the department placed bikes outside the station for people to take. He outlines what else was involved.

"It went very well," says Carpenter. "In lieu of the Firefighters Burn Fund Bike Auction we held the Firefighters Burn Fund Bike Program. Through the program, we took the initiative to donate 39 adult and kids bikes to Big Brothers Big Sisters, the ROK program (Recreational Opportunities for Kids), Portage School Division outreach programs which are at PCI, Arthur Meighen and Crescentview, and the Bear Clan. And then the rest of the bikes were on display out front of the fire hall for people to pick up a bike of their choice."

Carpenter says people were all quite kind and they were able to raise $2,220.