It is only the second time they have hosted a bike drive for underprivileged children, but the Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee hopes to double what was brought in last year.
With some additional help from Cub Scout Pack 879 of Ahwatukee Foothills, the lead organizers hope to bring in 200 bikes this year, up from just under 100 bikes a year ago.
Robin Pettyjohn has dressed up as Santa Claus at Christmas for nearly 30 years. For more than 10 years, he has visited a group of needy children in Stanfield, Ariz. Many of the bikes will be donated to these kids while the rest will go in private donations, or to the Kyrene Foundation, which operates a resource center for families who are struggling financially.
This year they also hope to donate some to the Boys and Girls Club in Guadalupe.
"We've got a lot more resources that say they could definitely use bikes," Kiwanis member Andi Pettyjohn said. "Stanfield is a low-income farming community and every year there is a Christmas party, which the general public is invited to. There is usually about 100 kids who come visit and take pictures with Santa Claus."
Along with helping to spread the word and bring in more bicycles for the drive, Pettyjohn said the Ahwatukee Cub Scouts will most likely help out in cleaning and doing small repairs to the donated bikes.
"We decided this year that the bike drive is something the boys could help with," she said. "They can help with easy repairs and clean up, plus they (will help with) collecting more bikes."
Just as collection began, Kiwanis received a commitment from Darin Fisher, CEO of Vision Community Management, that he will be donating at least 36 new bicycles to the bike drive.
To help Pettyjohn and the Kiwanis, donate gently used bicycles to Ahwatukee Foothills Self Storage, 1023 E. Frye Road or Elliot/Kyrene Storage Solutions, 543 W. Elliot Road in Tempe. For more information, visit www.AhwatukeeKiwanis.org, or call (480) 759-1934.
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