Organizers preparing for bike giveawayPublished 11:31am Thursday, December 6, 2012
Names already drawn for event at Ironton High
In just a few short months, John Dickess and Don Schwartz, with help from the community, were able to organize a bicycle drive of epic proportions.
And on Saturday, the businessmen will see results of their dedication and hard work. Starting at 5 p.m. at Ironton High School, approximately 160 children will receive brand new bicycles or big wheels. Dickess, owner of Dickess Auto Repair, and Schwartz, manager of Advance Auto Parts, began in September to raise money for the bicycle giveaway.
Last year was the first effort for the neighboring businesses and the result was 32 bikes donated in just a few weeks. This year both men said the response from the community has been overwhelming, with their goal of 100 bikes being surpassed more than a month ago. And the support of the community hasn’t slowed down.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff to go through Saturday,” Dickess said. The names for the bikes have already been drawn from the raffle box at Advance and about 75 names were provided from schools in the county that chose to participate. In addition to the bikes, area businesses and residents have donated additional items for free raffles to those in attendance.
“People just keep bringing in stuff and bringing in money,” Dickess said. “It’s turned into quite a big thing. It’s a good thing. We are going to be able to help a lot of kids. I would have never thought we would have gotten this far with bicycles.”
Dickess said Dickster’s Video in Ashland, Ky., donated eight used video game consoles and games to be raffled off. Another person donated 200 comic books; someone else donated Hot Wheels cars. Other business showed their support by donating refreshments.
The Coal Grove Giovanni’s agreed to donate 20 pizza, while the Papa John’s in Flatwoods Ky., will donate 30 pizzas. Rax has also donated 120 $5 gift cards. Dickess Tree Farm donated a live, decorated Christmas tree and a wreath, each to be raffled off. And others have offered to bake holiday cookies.
Walmart, in addition to offering the bicycles at a discount price, donated beverages for the event, about 600, Dickess said.
Santa Claus will be on hand to give the bikes to the children and everyone’s favorite caped crusader will make an appearance.
“Batman is going to be there.,” Dickess said. “That will get the kids a little bit excited about it. They will want to see him.”
And it’s not too late to donate to the effort, Dickess said. Donations will be accepted for the event even on Saturday morning.
“Even if people donate, we will go Saturday before the event and go get bikes,” Dickess said. Donations will also be accepted throughout December, as there are many names in the raffle box that were not drawn, Dickess said.
Dickess is asking that anyone whose child’s name was drawn for the event be at Ironton High School at 4:45 p.m. Saturday so the event can start on time.