ROCKS gets new wheels

A spontaneous cheer erupts from R.O.C.K.S. students, staff and Director Joyce Vera, left, as they board their new bus Friday afternoon and find out that not only does it have more room, but it is more comfortable and in a lot better condition, and the radio works so they will have music to sing along with as they travel. (Star photo by Steve Allison)


Students in the ROCKS summer enrichment program will be traveling in a little better style from now on.

ROCKS was fortunate to receive a gift of a reconditioned bus, which the students and staff enthusiastically tried out on Friday.

The bus was a gift from the New Holstein Transportation Company, in New Holstein, Wisc. The company run by John and Carol Daun started by maintaining and refurbishing school buses for local schools. As the couple ran the business, their fame as reconditioners spread, and the company grew across the nation. When it came time for the Dauns to retire, they decided to use their bus experience for good and changed the goal of the company to giving away reconditioned buses to nonprofit organizations. John is in charge of doing what he loves, reconditioning the buses, and Carol takes care of all the paperwork.

There are few requirements for getting one of the New Holstein buses. One is that you are a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and, because they don’t feel up to taking long bus trips anymore, you have to come get the bus. 

Jay Harvey of Miles City took on the picking-up task for the ROCKS bus. He flew to New Holstein, and John and Carol picked him up at the airport. Harvey was amazed how friendly and nice the couple were as they took him to pick up the bus. After a brief orientation with the reconditioned bus, Harvey was on his way home with the gift for ROCKS. 

Students, staff and a few parents stayed a bit after pick-up time Friday so they could see the new bus. They were also rewarded with a quick ride around Riverside Park as they discovered the working radio and other new features of the new ride they will be enjoying as they travel around town.

In the old bus, Program Director Joyce Vera had to have one of the staff members call her cell phone so the students could sing along with the ring tone. The new bus is also roomier and in better shape.

The kids will be able to enjoy the bus for a few more weeks of the summer program, which offers educational and recreational activities for kids from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the summer.