LONGMONT --Buzz Feldman believes nothing should prevent a child from getting a bike for Christmas.
So, for the 24th year, Longmont's Holiday Bike Program -- Feldman's brainchild -- will allow hundreds of local kids to receive bicycles at Christmas.
"Last year, we had 439 bikes, and everybody got a new helmet," said Feldman, who started the Holiday Bike Program in 1988 with Bicycle Longmont.
The Longmont Fire Department and Ed & Ruth Lehman YMCA also are part of the program, which offers bicycles each December to families who cannot afford new bicycles.
This year's drive started on Labor Day and will keep going until Dec. 5, and so far, 100 bicycles have been collected and restored.
Each year, the Longmont Fire Department collects about 500 bicycles for the program. The donated bicycles are picked up by Jerry's Posse, led by Jerry Seguin, and restored at Sun Construction Co.
The bicycles will be ready for children to take home at the Y-Pals Family Christmas Party and Bike Giveaway at the Ed & Ruth Lehman YMCA, 950 Lashley St.
"The experience is magical for a child," Feldman said. "The kids need bikes, and a lot of families can't afford anything for Christmas. People need some help. They can get to the park and the library with those bicycles. It changes lives."
To donate a bicycle, drop it off at any Longmont Fire Station, at Left Hand Brewery, Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids or Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Tap Room. The most-needed bicycles are those with 12-, 16-, 20- and 24-inch wheels for both girls and boys, although the organization welcomes tricycles, scooters and toddler cruisers for children.
"Our goal this year is (to give away) 400, so far. We've collected about 150 bikes and of those, we have 100 ready to go, but we still need a lot more bikes," Feldman said.
How to help
What: Kids Holiday Bike Program
When: Through Dec. 5
Where: Drop off a kids' bike at any Longmont fire station or at the following participating restaurants for a FREE pint of beer.
· Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids, 1555 S. Hover St., 303-485-9400
· Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Tap Room, 1800 Pike Road, Unit B, 303-776-1914, ext. 313
Info: Call Buzz Feldman at 303-709-6991 or visit ci.longmont.co.us/whatsnew.htm
Diana Kurniawan can be reached at 303-684-5248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.