BY DAVID JAMES HEISS
A couple days before Christmas dozens of kids got to select free bikes and scooters during a special program hosted by the Banning Police Department and Banning Chamber of Commerce at the former National Guard armory.
According to Lt. Vincent Avila, kids who were invited to participate at the Dec. 23 evening event were recruited from market nights, kids seen at other toy drives, or those “just walking down the street with their parents.”
According to chamber President Robert Ybarra, “A lot of businesses helped to make this happen,” and singled out Banning RV in particular for stepping up.
Ricky Herman of Banning dropped by with his wife and three children.
“This is great. There’s a lot more for kids to enjoy,” he said. “I haven’t been able to get out and do anything lately” to acquire Christmas presents.
Julian Delgado, 7, of Banning was proud to show off his bicycle, which complements another one that he claims he got a few weeks earlier as a matching gift to his brother’s birthday present.
“This one’s much better,” Julian said. “My other bike is a little bit small.”
According to Ybarra, 100 bikes and 50 scooters were given away, and visitors were treated to pizza.
“It’s been awesome to have these kids out here,” Ybarra said. “It’s neat to see their faces when they pick them up.”
Donations came from Precision Material Handling, Banning RV, Lawrence Equipment, helmets were donated from Amazon, which also donated a lot of presents that were distributed at market night.