Bikes for LifeWorks NW Programs’ Kids
Each year, the Ferguson-Murphy fundraiser donates bikes to the children associated with the LifeWorks NW sites, and several other nonprofits. This year, they delivered 102 bikes and helmets to children connected to LifeWorks NW programs at St. Johns Children’s Relief Nursery, Project Network, Hillsboro-Main Street and more.
“It was an exciting morning,” said Ashley Amato, LifeWorks NW’s Special Events & Sponsorship coordinator. “So many happy faces; it was great to see the reaction of the children, teachers and staff. This donation means a very happy holiday for many families.”
The charity began with two families bringing together friends and acquaintances to do a run on Christmas Eve. It began as fun and became a multi-generational fundraiser to support children less fortunate than their own. Now, runners make donations to ensure hundreds of bikes can be purchased annually. According to an interview with the Winged M, a newsletter from the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC) where the run begins and ends, they’ve given away more than 2,000 bikes over the years.
When asked why they started donating bikes to the children of LifeWorks NW’s programs, Bart Ferguson said that children never forget their first bike.
“It gives them freedom, gives them a chance to ride a bike, be free and get some exercise, too,” said Bart. “It is a special Christmas gift that everyone remembers. I’ve been involved with LifeWorks NW since I went to school in Eugene in the ‘80s, so I came up here, and Ted and I started donating bikes to LifeWorks NW in St. Johns. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart because of the kids. But [also for the] great work that the Relief Nursery and LifeWorks NW does.”
At LifeWorks NW’s Project Network, several of the tiniest children got a preview of their gifts. (See pictures below.) But at St. John’s Children’s Relief Nursery (CRN), most of the older children were still in class, so the bikes will be a huge surprise.
“Our families really appreciate these bikes,” said MacKenzie Hale, a teacher at LifeWorks NW’s St. John’s CRN in the “Wobblers” (between babies and toddlers) class. “A lot of families are going to be surprising the kids on Christmas with them.”
The Ferguson family understands the desire to make the holidays special, and for them the Bike Giveaway is a big part of their celebration. Bart and Ted Ferguson, Ted’s daughter Emily and son Ennis, and other friends were part of the LifeWorks NW delivery.
“I think I think it is super cool that my dad and my uncle, and my family in general, will leave behind a legacy that we can continue to do,” said Emily Ferguson. “I’ll glad it was something they wanted us to be involved in so badly that I’m growing up surrounded by this every Christmas. That’s what our Christmas revolves around now. I’m excited for the future to see where it might go.”
Many thanks to the Ferguson-Murphy families who are long-term supporters of LifeWorks NW. Together they ensured a happy holiday for many of our clients’ families, and exercise and fun for children for years to come.
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