Giving kids a reason to smile, one bike at a time
As Christmas came to an end, Rick Bevington shaved off his white beard and jumped into Pattaya’s last remaining phone booth to become Bikes4Tykes Rick.
As Santa, he would show up at Christmas parties. In return, the party-throwers would donate new or used bicycles as “payment.” It was now time to get those bikes ready for needy kids, as there is nothing worse than a bike simply rusting away.
Radchada Chomjinda of the Pattaya Orphanage learned that Rick had six bikes and was looking for some exercise. Then Bernie Tuppin from Jesters Care for Kids told him about Khao Bi Sri School in Plutaluang, which caters to students with developmental disabilities. Tuppin said there was a pile of bikes in all states of disrepair and off they went to have a look.
Noi Emmerson, Pattaya Sports Club charity chairperson speaks of the PSC’s dedication to charity for underprivileged children.
Sure enough, there was a pile and after a talk with Principal Boonchu Muangmaitong, Bevington started to load the first batch of bikes to take home and repair. After they were working he returned with a load of working bikes much to the enjoyment of the kids there. By the time he was done there was 28 bikes ready to be used again.
During a talk with Pattaya Sports Club charity chairwoman Noi Emmerson, she asked Bevington about some bikes, as she was heading out with a donation for some more needy children. Three more bikes were dispatched there.
Rick explains what the Bikes4Tykes is all about.
It was now time to get down to his main program of delivering a total of 32 new bikes with helmets, bells and locks, and give a safety talk to students in the Pattaya School Area No. 4, at Nong Ket Yai and Noi Schools in Naklua.
Bevington next headed back to see Radchada again, this time with four more bikes. But that wasn’t all: After a donation of a six-speed bike and side car, it was now time to strip and paint them yellow and red so it could show up in the St. Patrick’s Day.
The moment of truth as Rick and a teacher get ready to announce who will receive bikes at Nong Ket Yai School.
Bevington will be heading back to Canada for the summer, but will be back in late September.
If anybody has a bike sitting around in any shape, Bevington knows someone that will be happy to give it some exercise. If you would like to help, contact and donations can be made at the Pattaya Sports Club.
Teachers and administrators at Nong Ket Noi School thank Rick for his generosity.
The bikes are shined up and ready to ride.
Rick personally instructs the children on safety while riding their bikes.
Children who showed good progress in their studies are rewarded with Rick and PSC’s Bikes4Tykes.
Time for a test ride.
This toddler is ready to go on the bike ride of her life.
Students anxiously wait for the presentation ceremonies to begin.