71 Kids Get New Bikes

Brady Smith, Anchor/Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Standing in line wearing nothing but shorts and a hoodie, 11 year-old Joseph Etheridge didn't mind a little cold wind on Saturday morning. That's because he was about to get a brand new bicycle.

Sarah Hoeger with the Cedar Rapids Boys & Girls Club worked with Variety of Eastern Iowa to match kids up with bikes that would fit them. "It's a great opportunity for our kids to get bikes," Hoeger explained. "Most of our parents are not able to afford bikes."

"The ownership of a bike is one of those amazing things," said Keeley Smith, executive director of Variety in eastern Iowa. "It's priceless to watch a child get a bike, and get awarded a bike for the first time."

"They usually do drawing or a little essay that says I'm going to keep my bike safe and lock it up in my garage, and then we look at them all and the most deserving children get a bike," said Smith.

Etheridge has had bikes in the past, but, "they've gotten stolen a lot of times," he told us.

After getting fitted with a new helmet, and signing a certificate promising to lock up his new bike and use it safely, he's ready to go.

"I really love it," Etheridge said, smiling.

"The smile will last a week on my face to watch a child get their own bike," Smith told us.
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