Hundreds attend Bike Fest 4 Kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds attend Bike Fest 4 Kids

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April 26, 2008

Albany--Bikers for all across south Georgia rode into Albany Saturday for a bike fest.

It was no ordinary Bike Fest, this one was for kids.

Dozens of volunteers and local police departments, were on had to teach the little ones the importance of staying in school.

Bike clubs from as far as Macon rode into Albany on Saturday for the first ever Bike Fest 4 Kids.

"We're just a group of guys from all different kinds of backgrounds, different riding styles and things like that, we just all have the same message, we want to send out a positive message to the community." Said Kris Morrill, organizer and member of Another Level MC.

More than three hundred kids showed up for a community cook-out, games, ant to try their hand at the rock climbing wall. But it wasn't all fun and games.

"Since I've been working at the sheriff's office I've been to 42 funerals of kids 18-years-old and younger. Either gang shootings, or drug overdose or DUIs killed in car wrecks." Said Captain Kevin Sproul, the Dougherty County Sheriff youth officer.

A major goal for organizers was to make sure these children know they have options.  They don't have to be on the streets.

But after a little straight talk, even the captain had a little fun by getting in the dunking booth.

"We joined or partnership with them and wanted to come out here and have fun. Show the kids there is an alternative to gangs, and drugs and all the violence the read and see about every day." Said Captain Kevin Sproul.

And what is a Bike Fest without bikes.

More than 40 bikes were donated for all the kids registered for tickets. Every ten minutes a boy or girl got a brand new bicycle.

Organizers said this was the first Bike Fest 4 Kids and pledge it won't be the last.

"We wanted to make it the best that we could, this is the first time we're doing it. We said today we're going to do Tift Park, next year it might be the fairgrounds, we want to make it city wide. Said Kris Morrill.

Besides staying out of trouble, organizers used the event to instill the importance of physical activity, given the high rate of childhood obesity.

news@walb.com?Subject=BikeFest4Kids/WJ