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Auto shops prep for bike giveaway

Goal of 200 bikes this year

With Christmas approaching, John Dickess, owner of Dickess Auto Repair, and general manager of the Ironton Advance Auto Parts Don Schwartz are busy getting ready for this year’s Lawrence County Bicycle Giveaway.

This is the fifth year Dickess and Schwartz have organized the event and last year the two gave away their thousandth bicycle.

“It all started giving away two bikes,” Schwartz said. “Five years ago, instead of a gag Christmas gift party, my employees bought two bikes that we put on display. John said I needed more bikes and then he contributed two bikes.”

When word got out about what they were doing, 68 bikes were given away the first year, Schwartz said.

Dickess and Schwartz take monetary donations and work with Wal-Mart to buy bicycles for less fortunate children who may not receive anything for Christmas. New bicycle donations are also taken. Currently, they have just fewer than 80 bikes set for the giveaway this year.

“It’s all about the kids. We don’t want to see any kids go without anything for Christmas,” Dickess said. “We call all the elementary schools and Head Start programs in Lawrence County and ask which three families aren’t going to have Christmas and try to help out the whole family.”

Dickess and Schwartz hope to give away 200 bicycles this year and are actively taking donations all the way up until Christmas.

“We can take donations at Advance Auto Parts and Dickess Auto Repair,” Schwartz said. “It’s all about the people in Lawrence County that donate and there’s no way to thank them all.”

Dickess added that anyone with children with special needs should contact Dickess Auto Repair at 740-532-1220 or Advance Auto Parts at 740-533-2805 ahead of time so they can see if they can help in any way.

Dickess Auto Parts is located at 212 South Sixth Street and Advance Auto Parts is located at 615 Park Avenue.

The bicycle giveaway is set for Saturday, Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. at St. Joseph High School.