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The spirit of giveaway

Annual Dickess Auto Repair Bike Giveaway helps 45 families

For the past eight years, John Dickess and Don Schwartz have been working to make Christmas a little more special to local families.

This year, 45 families stopped by the lot of Advance Auto Parts in Ironton, which Schwartz owns, where they picked up a bicycle.

It was a cold day, but there was still plenty of warm holiday spirit.

The bikes were purchased with donations from local businesses and individuals, Dickess, who owns and is general manager of Dickess Auto Repair next door, said.

He said, to date, they have given away 2,700 bikes in the yearly event.

Dickess, Schwartz and volunteers meet with officials from Head Start programs for local schools to get the names of children in need, and they also have some families walk in as well.

In addition to the bikes, the children were treated to a visit from Mrs. Claus, were able to choose from a table of toys and were given refreshments.