By BRANDON VILLALOVOS
10:16 pm | December 15, 2016
200 kids are now riding in style after receiving brand new bikes Thursday thanks to the Pasadena Rotary Club in conjunction with the Pasadena Salvation Army for its second year of “Bikes for Christmas.”
After much success in 2015, this year’s Bikes for Christmas was a collaborative effort made possible by the Pasadena, San Marino and Altadena Rotary Club members who bought and assembled the bikes to make sure these deserving, underprivileged children have a two-wheeled present this holiday season.
“This project epitomizes what Rotary is all about—service above self. The support from our community partners at Huntington Hospital and Around the Cycle was truly inspiring. Partnering with the community is what we do throughout the year and it is very gratifying to be able to provide these deserving youngsters these bicycles at Christmas,” said Pasadena Rotary President Shel Capeloto. “Rotarians not only donated their financial resources to help achieve this outcome, but gave of their time as well to ensure this project would be a success.”
Excited kids and their families lined up outside the Pasadena Salvation Army Tabernacle early Thursday morning eager to make their way into the auditorium where rows of brand new bikes were lined up and ready to be taken home.
The collaborative effort between the three local Rotary Clubs were able to purchase 200 brand new, unassembled bicycles at cost value from the Huffy manufacturer. The bikes range in sizes from 12 inches to 20 inches to accommodate children as small as toddlers up to age ten.
“Every kid wants to wake up on Christmas morning and see presents under the tree, but unfortunately this reality is not true for many of our families who are struggling to make ends meet. The Salvation Army is happy to step in, with the help of the Rotary Club, to provide toys and bikes for these deserving families in our community,” said Pasadena Salvation Army Captain Terry Masango.
Approximately 60 rotary volunteers assembled the bikes in November with members of Full Circle Cycling Team on hand to provide expert support and quality control.
The bicycles were presented with bows and goody bags were added to each bike’s handlebar.
“It’s exciting to know that we are helping to bring joy this season to so many young kids,” said Pasadena Rotary Club Co-Chair Kathy Meagher.
Each bike is registered with the Pasadena Police Department and was outfitted with a helmet and bike lock donated by the Huntington Memorial Hospital. Helmets were bought at cost by local shop Around the Cycle.
“We want our kids to be safe, have a wonderful holiday and we’re very proud that we can serve the Salvation Army and the Pasadena Rotary Club,” said Lt. Tracey Ibarra of the Pasadena Police Department.
Meagher and fellow Co-Chair Dr. Paul Martin headed up the committee that coordinated the give-away. Fellow Pasadena Rotarian Captain Terry Masango was responsible for identifying the children to whom a bicycle would be give and coordinated the distribution, according to a press release.
Bikes For Christmas was started in 2015 by Meagher, who was the Pasadena Rotary Club President at the time, secured a grant to purchase 120 bikes for kids.
They hope to continue the tradition for many years to come.
“We cannot really serve our community by ourselves. We do what we do because our partners, in particular the Pasadena Rotary, gives us help and we turn around and give it to the families who are in need ,” said Masango.