Brand new bikes find 60 young riders at Christmas

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Although it’s hard to fit 60 brand new shiny bicycles under the Christmas tree, the folks at Chiquita Canyon found a familiar way to present them as gifts for needy kids Tuesday.

For the 16th consecutive year, Chiquita Canyon staffers delivered 60 bikes late Tuesday afternoon to the Child & Family Center on on Centre Pointe Parkway.

“It is very fun,” said Harley Zugbaum, administrative assistant for marketing and outreach at the center.

Zugbaum who, for the last three years has worked to match bikes to kids as part of her community outreach efforts, attached name tags of kids to the bikes built custom-built for them.

“Last month, I sent out forms to therapists, asking if they had a client who could benefit from having a bike,” she told The Signal Tuesday.

She found no shortage of kids who could benefit from having a bike.

The returned forms received by Zugbaum detail each bike’s owner: height, age, gender.

“Then I see that the bikes match up with the kids,” she said.

The rest is magic.

“When the kids come to pick up their bike they are so excited,” Zugbaum said.

Some parents — representing about half of the young bike recipients — take the bikes home for unveiling Christmas Day, Zugbaum said.

For siblings in tow, the center has a range of small gifts so that the brothers and sisters of bike-recipients “don’t feel left out,” she said.

Every year, on the Saturday prior to the bikes being delivered, Chiquita Canyon staffers get together to assemble the brand new bikes.

The event is called the 16th Annual Christmas Promise Bike Build.

Once assembled, them take the 60 assembled bikes to the Child & Family Center for the 16th Annual Christmas Promise Bike Build.

The tradition is part of a national program to deliver more than 2,000 bicycles to organizations across the country, beginning with the delivery of 60 bikes to children in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“Chiquita Canyon has partnered with local Santa Clarita Valley non-profits Child & Family Center and Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley to make this holiday season bright for some children in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Chiquita spokesman John Musella said. “Chiquita Canyon is once again part of a national effort to donate 2,000 bicycles across the United States.”

Locally, Chiquita Canyon is fulfilling a need for 60 bikes for the Child and Family Center and Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley this holiday season.

The bicycles, assembled by Chiquita Canyon employees and their families last Saturday, were delivered to Child & Family Center Tuesday.



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