December 12 — John Dickess, owner of Dickess Auto Repair, Debbie Mays, office manager of Dickess Auto Repair and Don Schwartz, director of Advance Auto Parts in Ironton, stand in front of the 165 bikes offered in 2019 at Central Christian Church. (The Ironton Tribune – Mark Shaffer)
Annual event scheduled for next Saturday
The organizers of the Lawrence County Annual Bicycle Competition are looking for a few more kids who need bikes.
“It’s a little unusual this year because we have bikes and we’re looking for kids to give them to. Usually we have the opposite problem,” said John Dickess.
The annual bicycle giveaway was started in 2010 by Dickess, owner of Dickess Auto Repair and general manager of Ironton Advance Auto Parts, Don Schwartz, so children in need could receive a big Christmas present.
They have about 30 bikes left to donate, he said. The sizes are 20, 18 and 16 inches.
“So we have small bikes to teenage bikes,” he said. “All they have to do is call Debbie at 740-532-1220 and we’ll put them on the list.”
The bike giveaway will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 18. It will take place at the corner of Sixth Street and Park Avenue in Ironton, between Dickess Auto Repair and Advance Auto Parts.
Anyone wishing to donate bikes or money can call Debbie at 740-532-1220.
The tradition of the bicycle gift began a decade ago. Advance Auto Parts had a girl’s bike and a boy’s bike to offer.
People put their names in a registration box for a chance to win the bike.
Dickess said they needed more bikes after looking at all the entrances and went out and bought a few more. When he dropped them off, a customer said he would donate ten dollars and the whole project extended to the pair who donated 64 bikes that year.
Demand continued to increase, so the couple began to ask the community to donate. The number of bikes offered depends on donations and demand, some years the number of bikes reaches 500.
“We couldn’t do it on our own,” Dickess said. “It’s the community that puts that.”