New bikes brighten the holidays for Claremont kids

Claremont Rotary member Jack Alan makes final adjustments on Braxton Garcia’s new bike Saturday as his mother Brittney looks on. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger

For the 23rd year running, the Rotary Club of Claremont delivered more than 30 bicycles to local children in need during a special event Saturday at Claremont Presbyterian Church.

Now known as Bill’s Bikes for Kids Giveaway, Claremont Rotary purchased the $150 bikes, which also came with helmets. Volunteers from the Claremont Senior Bike Group and the Claremont High School and El Roble Interact clubs helped assemble the bikes last week in anticipation of the pre-Christmas giveaway, and were on hand at the event for last minute adjustments and to help with rider training.

Jack Figueroa, 6, from Oakmont Elementary, after receiving his first bike. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger

The giveaway event included master of ceremonies Ron Coleman, plenty of corny jokes, food and drink, and a bike safety presentation. It was attended by Claremont school principals, CUSD Superintendent and Rotarian Jim Elsasser, Mayor Sal Medina, and City Council members Corey Calaycay and Ed Reece.

Each student was brought to the stage to receive their bike with applause from the audience. For many, it was their first time on a bicycle, and it showed as they slowly and carefully made their maiden rides with a family or friends guiding them.

The good vibes were palpable as the event unfolded, both for the families who received new bicycles, and for the Rotarians and Interact members who worked hard to make the giveaway a reality.

As the morning ended, many the smiling children rode away on their new bikes. “The Rotary Club of Claremont hopes that this gift will not only bring joy to the children, but also inspire them to create lasting memories,” read a statement from the club.

Claremont High School and El Roble Interact members sing Christmas carols to warm up the crowd of over 100 before the festivities begin on Saturday. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger

Ricardo Flores, 9, receives his first training ride from David Tanenbaum after receiving his new bike at Saturday’s giveaway from Claremont Rotary. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger

Danielle Baich, 6, from Mountain View Elementary, is consoled by her mother Bridgette after they discovered her bike was too large. Everyone left in good spirits however, as Claremont Rotary assured Danielle a smaller bike would be delivered before Christmas. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger


1 Comment


    I was disappointed that the Claremont Senior Bike Group was not mentioned in this story. Many volunteers from the CSBG put in a number of hours assemblying the bicycles and soliciting volunteers for this annual event.

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