By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
Big Brothers Big Sister of Ellis County once again has partnered with service groups and members of the Hays community to provide bicycles for kids in need.
Each year Ellis County Big Brothers Big Sisters identifies Littles in need of bikes, and this year they recognized 24 children who needed a bike.
Nancy Jeter, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ellis County, said Walmart donated 10 bikes this year, which were assembled at the Christmas 4 Kids Telethon by Rotary, Sunrise Rotary, Lions, Optimist Club and Kiwanis. Jeter said each group took two children and helped them put together the bikes.
Jeter also said the organization received 11 bikes from Norton Correctional Facility, where inmates refurbish bikes as part of the Bikes for Youngsters program. Participants take donated bikes and restore them for families in need in northwest Kansas and southwest Nebraska.
The final bikes were donated by individuals in the community.
Jeter said this is the ninth year of the bike building contest, and she said the need continues to increase.
On Friday, Eagle Community Television’s Mike Koerner traveled to Norton to pick up the bikes from the corrections facility, and they then they were distributed to children.