Bikes for Kids Utah gives away 1,000 bikes

4th annual event helps under-privileged kids

The 4th annual Bikes for Kids Utah Bike giveaway event saw 1,000 pre-selected second graders receiving brand new bicycles, helmets and a t-shirt.

The May 30 festival-style event, held at the Intermountain Medical Center parking lot in Murray, Utah, also included a Bike Safety Rodeo and nutrition instruction.

"We are so pleased about another great event! One of the reasons the Bikes for Kids Giveaway is such a success is because the people in this parking lot are willing to give," said Debbie Reid, founder and executive director of Bikes for Kids Utah. "From the school administrators and the parents to the children and sponsors, everyone involved is filled with a sense of gratitude to be part of giving bikes to kids."

The pre-selected group of children are generally from the Boys & Girls Clubs in the Salt Lake Valley, the Guadalupe Schools, and Rose Park Elementary School.

Greeted by more than 160 volunteers, students and their families walked from tent to tent participating in educational presentations about healthy nutrition by Committed Health and Fitness, helmet fittings by the Brain Injury Association of Utah and finally, a Bike Safety Rodeo sponsored by the Wasatch Women's Cycle Club.

Making her way through each of the booths, Bike for Kids Utah recipient and Sandy Elementary student Alexandria Rivera said, "I am excited to ride my bike this summer with my sister."

Her mother, Gloria Rivera, thought the bike safety information was very helpful, saying, "It taught us something we didn't know about staying safe while riding a bike."

After participating in the educational presentations and the Bike Safety Rodeo, the children were given unassembled boxed bikes, after which they could either take them home to assemble, or build them onsite with the help of Spin Cycle bike shop and several Boy Scouts working towards their Eagle Scout merit badges.

Student recipients and their families also enjoyed breakdancing and BMX demonstrations along with a juggling performance throughout the day.

The next Bikes for Kids fundraising event will be the Bikes for Kids second annual Utah Red and Blue Time Trial on Saturday, August 29 followed by a dinner/silent auction at La Caille to be held the evening of Tuesday, September 1, 2009. More information about the time trial and auction will be provided soon.

Fundraising ridership doubled over 2008

Bikes for Kids Utah also hosted successful 5K, 50K and 100K fundraising bike rides last weekend.

Ride participation for 2009 more than doubled from last year with more than 300 cyclists registered to ride. The fundraising rides took place concurrently with the Bikes for Kids Utah annual bike giveaway event at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah.

"The cycling community has always been very supportive of the Bikes for Kids organisation," Reid said. "But this year an incredible number of cyclists from around the Salt Lake Valley turned out to offer their physical and financial support to our cause."

Though Saturday's wind was an added challenge for 5K, 50K and 100K riders, the warm, sunny weather made for overall pleasant riding conditions. All of the rides began and finished at Intermountain Medical Center and were led by police escort.

For more information about Bikes for Kids Utah, visit www.bikesforkidsutah.org.

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