By Diane Saunders
Published on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 9:32 AM MST
|The Oddfellows parking lot was transformed|
into a sea of bicycles for the club's annual
Christmas party for children.
The parking lot of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was transformed into a sea of bicycles given away recently to 251 lucky children. Every year the Odd Fellows gives away refurbished bicycles to Gila Valley children a few days before Christmas.
Chuck Trammell, coordinator for the bicycle giveaway, said the Oddfellows collect donated bicycles throughout the year and take them to the Arizona State Prison-Safford.
"We go all over to get them," Trammell said.
Prison inmates clean and lubricate bearings, reupholster seats and paint the bikes — making them look like new. As the bikes are refurbished they are placed in donated storage facilities for safekeeping until the Christmas season.
At the annual Oddfellows Christmas party for children, each child is given a ticket with a number. As the numbers are drawn, children holding tickets with corresponding numbers select bicycles.
Trammell said next year the Oddfellows would like to give away more bicycles.
"We're really hoping for 300 next year," he said