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Few dry eyes as Bridgeport kids get adaptive bikes

Exponent Telegram photo by Kyle Jenkins Noah Ash sits on the adaptive bicycle he was given through the “MyBike” program during an event at the Bridgeport Conference Center Thursday.
Exponent Telegram photo by Kyle Jenkins
Noah Ash sits on the adaptive bicycle he was given through the “MyBike” program during an event at the Bridgeport Conference Center Thursday.

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Sometimes, an event has the ability to leave all those in attendance better off for being there. That happened Thursday at the Bridgeport Conference Center.

Variety the Children’s Charity launched its “My Bike” program in Harrison County, giving away its 50th bike in West Virginia.

The bikes the charity gives away aren’t like normal bikes, however; they are adaptive to allow children with physical challenges to safely ride.

The significance of a bike for a child is much greater than one thinks, says Charlie LaValle, chief executive officer of Variety the Children’s Charity. And he says that for a disabled child, having the opportunity to ride a bike for the first time can be even greater.

“What drives me personally is very simple — to make a difference,” he said. “To make sure these kids have these opportunities to be like you and me when they grow up. To have the chance to pick out your own bike … that seems small, but it’s big for these kids.

“I do it for these families and their kids, but the true joy is transformative for me too. And I think that’s what happens to people who come.”

House of Delegates Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, was in attendance at the event and spoke through tears to the crowd about how important the program can be for children.

“Too often we don’t have as much fun as we ought to,” Miley said. “But through this program, these kids can have more fun…

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