200 Charlottesville kids get free new bikes

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) — Children of all ages and their families lined up Sunday afternoon at Tonsler Park for the third annual Bike Giveaway.

Wes Bellamy is the event organizer and says it’s just a day of love every time, even though this year it’s bigger than ever.

“Last year we gave away 50 bikes and we had to turn the kids away and they were crying and that was a really really sad thing. So we said, hey, let’s raise the bar,” Bellamy said.

He managed to collect 200 bikes so no one would leave without one.

“You see little kids walking away with smiles on their faces, that’s really what it’s about,” Bellamy said.

He says Charlottesville Parks and Recreation helps make it all happen.

“They went through the clutch like no other. Rapper Young Jeezy provided 50 bikes from the Streets Dreams Foundation, and then the rest came from the community. We created a GoFundMe. We raised nearly $8,000 on the GoFundMe just for these bikes,” Bellamy said.

It’s the start of the Charlottesville Tonsler League, which features basketball games all summer long at Tonsler Park.

“We’re more than a bunch of guys playing basketball, we’re really here to serve the community and that’s always a great thing we can do,” Bellamy said.

The league is all about providing entertainment and being in tune with everyone, which starts with free bikes this year.

“That’s really what Charlottesville is. We’re a community that comes together and I’m just grateful and proud and really, honestly, very kind and grateful that the community trusts me to be able to donate,” Bellamy said. .

The Tonsler League lasts all summer and it’s every Thursday and Sunday evening.

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