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Fundraiser to help others get on bikes…

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100 brand new bikes built up and ready for the “Christmas at the Club”.

Two years ago, the company helped out with a fundraiser for the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Santa Ana. Every year, the club has a “Christmas at the Club” event where local kids can come and choose a gift for Christmas. The company had helped in securing and building 100 bikes for the giveaway. My oldest son, Quinn, and I volunteered to help out during the event. Once everything was set up in the gym, our job was to greet the kids at the door and help them in choosing their one gift. This was important because the club doesn’t allow the parents to go in with the kids. They don’t want the parents influencing their choices.

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Don, on of our volunteer mechanics, building up one of the boys bikes.

When we arrived early that morning, we were surprised to see the line of kids waiting at the door. We were pretty certain that many of them had been there overnight, hoping to get the best pick of what was inside. As the kids waited at the door, you could see them straining to see what was inside. I was amazed at how patiently they waited their turn.  Very few of the first 100 or so kids through the door looked at the other toys in the gym, instead they went straight to the bicycles.

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Doug, another of the volunteers, puts the finishing touches on one of the girls bikes.

The second kid I greeted at the door was a 12 year old boy. I can’t remember his name, but I remember his face and his demeanor. He didn’t smile much. He was very serious and a bit stoic. He came inside and, like most of the others, went straight to the bikes. Oddly, he chose a nice purple girls bike with glittery tassels coming out the handlebar grips and a princess faceplate attached to the handlebars. He sat on it, smiling and checking it over, and I wasn’t sure what to think. I told him that we have plenty of boys bikes still available, but he just shook his head. “That’s okay.” he said, “I’m getting this for my sister. She’s going to love it!” It just blew me away that a kid, with a chance to pick only one gift for himself, chose something for his sister. We had a lot of fun that day, but this is my only REAL memory of that day.

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Setting up the gym and laying out the toys by age group.

Historically, there had always been a number of bikes given away at the event, but the number of bikes donated for gifts had begun to dwindle over the years. A friend of ours, Bobby Schwartz, had been involved with the event and had decided he wanted to increase the number of bikes for the kids that year. Bobby had a target of 100 bikes and we helped to set him up with someone who could get boys and girls bikes for the event and managed to get some other donated items to go with them. Bobby even found someone to donate 100 brand new helmets to go with the bikes. Together, we also managed to put together a group of volunteers who showed up the week before the event and helped unpackage and build the bikes. Above, you can see what 100 newly built bikes looks like.

By now, you know I’m going to ask for money. This is a fundraiser that is a complete no-brainer.This is a fundraiser to help others get on bikes! Donations go directly toward the purchase of bikes for kids at the Boys and Girls  Club of Santa Ana. Any extra money will be donated directly to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana to support its community programs. Please, go to the fundraiser page and support this great program. Any amount you can afford to give will be gladly accepted. The fundraiser page can be found here: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/BobbySchwarz/bikes-for-bucks.

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