Hurricane-Devastated Store Gives, Receives While Remaining Grateful

FORT MYERS, Fla. (BRAIN) – Despite the hardships of losing her store to Hurricane Ian in October, Lisa Badolato said it’s time to thank the Fort Myers Police Department.

The fact that this happened three days before Thanksgiving and nearly a week after I got an upgraded workspace was just a coincidence.

Badolato, who along with her husband Skip Badolato owns Pedego Electric Bikes Fort Myers, presented police with a $2,400 Element electric bike on Monday in thanks for their assistance over the past two years in escorting the annual ride of customer appreciation Pedego Palooza downtown.

Lisa Badolato said an officer recently approached the store to purchase the department’s first patrol bike for use by the homeless outreach team. “We said that was great because we wanted to give one away. So we gave one away and they bought one.”

The goodwill gesture comes after a difficult few months when the hurricane destroyed the Badolatos store near the Caloosahatchee River, with wrecked boats still surrounding it. The couple worked from their driveway and garage until Pedego CEO Don DiCostanzo last week sent a 40ft class 1 motorhome for them to work.

Pedego Headquarters normally uses the RV equipped with the Pedego badge for appearances at Paloozas nationwide. Now it’s parked in a lot across from the fenced store in Pedego Fort Myers.

“We were pretty much homeless,” Badolato said. “We’re just trying to rebuild, and now we have this tourist bus to use as a pop-up shop. It’s absolutely amazing. Don has been so supportive and everything we need. We couldn’t have done that. nature of Pedego, and it’s our nature to give back. It was really great to do that with the Fort Myers Police Department. Their team helps the homeless, so it’s a wellness story full circle complete.”

Badolato said that after October sales were “almost zero”, the store is slowly rebounding. November has been better so far, but she said sales were down 50-75% year-over-year.

“We’ve picked up business this month. It’s great, but it’s also sad at the same time because a lot of the people we were selling to were repeat customers who lost bikes in the storm. They were replacing bikes. bikes. It breaks our hearts, but it helps to keep us in business.

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