VICTORVILLE — Bicycles of all sizes were given away to children Wednesday evening as the City of Victorville Parks and Recreation held their 12th annual bike giveaway at the High Desert Event Center.

The event, known as the Doris Davies Memorial Bicycle Giveaway, was hosted by the nonprofit organization Benefit Everyone, Assist Recreation & Sports, also known as BEARS. The group gave away over 150 bicycles and helmets to children who showed a need and achieved high performance in school.

Donations from the Doo-Wah Riders, “Your Community Bingo” and year-long fundraising through the Recreation Division have provided the bicycles for children over the years for the Victor Elementary School District. Each public elementary school serving Victorville students participated in nominating the lucky students.

Valerie Emick, president of the BEARS organization, said this event got started back in 2003 when Doris Davies, the City of Victorville and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station refurbished 30 bicycles that were in the sheriff’s station storage lockup.

In 2008, Emick said Davis and BEARS started purchasing bicycles for the giveaway program.

“(Doris) was phenomenal at getting contributions to fund the program,” Emick said. “That year, she raised enough funds to purchase over 100 bicycles and our program has been growing ever since.

Children who received a bike were also visited by Santa and enjoyed cookies. Music was also provided by the Doo-Wah Riders band as they played various Christmas songs. Emick said 16 different sponsors helped with the event and those from the Victorville Sheriff’s Station and Fire Explorers, the High Desert Event Center staff and many other volunteers helped give away bikes.

According to Emick, the Doo-Wah Riders were able to raise $12,000 for the program.

Cyndi Spadafora, BEARS vice president said this event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community year after year.

“Doris Davies would be so pleased to know her legacy of serving the community continues to live on through the generosity of these caring sponsors,” Spadafora said.

Source: Monica Solano, Daily Press