Pinellas News

Early Christmas delivery at Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch

SAFETY HARBOR — The young people at the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch in Safety Harbor got to celebrate a little pre-Christmas Day prep this past weekend.

Deputies and other personnel with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office showed up Saturday morning and unloaded a brand new fleet of 24 brand new bicycles.

Hillsborough Master Deputy Jerry Caray said the fleet came complete with helmets, reflective gear, locks, headlights, taillights and a personalized card.

“The bikes the kids use to get around the residential campus are kind of in disrepair,” Caray said. “So these will replace those bikes. When they graduate from the program they won’t actually take the bike with them. They’ll stay at the ranch for future kids.”

The donation was made possible by HCSO Charities Inc.

The Safety Harbor Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch is one of six related ranches or camps the Florida Sheriffs Association operates around the state.

The ranches function as nonprofit residential child and family services organizations. The first – the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch in Live Oak – was founded in 1957 as a residential care facility for troubled boys. Safety Harbor’s coed opened in 1975.

The initiative is designed to prevent delinquency and develop productive citizens.

Caray said the 24 bikes varied in size to accommodate the ranch’s range of age groups involved at the facility on Enterprise Road.

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