Re-wrapped bus is the pride of the Y

The vehicle meets increasing transportation needs

Cindy Love-Abounader, CEO of the Y, prepares to head back to the campus in the re-wrapped bus.

The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round. A lot, considering how the YMCA of South Collier has expanded its services – and particularly its youth services – over the past few years.

And that means a lot of transportation for a lot of kids, including local as well as East Naples youngsters from schools such as Manatee and Parkside Elementary.

The bus in question recently underwent a sponsored face lift, largely due to the generosity of the Island Bike Shop's Matt Walthour.

YMCA of South Collier personnel stand with sponsor Matt Walthour (blue shirt, center) after showing him the revamped vehicle at his Island Bike Shop.

Recently, a Y contingent climbed aboard the bus and rode over to the bike shop to show Walthour the results of his support.

He was a little modest about all the fuss, saying only: "It's for the kids."

"We bought the bus last year," said Charlene Rose, the Y's School Age Manager. "We needed transportation. This year we brought in 140 kids to learn to swim (in the Y's water safety and drowning prevention initiative).

"We also use it for field trips. There's a lot of shuffling and coordinating, but literally every day morning and afternoon routes are being run," Rose said.

Organization president Ashley Lupo was on hand to show Walthour the upgraded bus and to thank him along with the others.

"We want safe, reliable transport, and obviously his support helps us do that," Lupo said.

"You might see it in the Christmas Parade this year," said Stephanie Pepper above the chatter as everyone admired the bus's new livery.