37 pieces of adaptive equipment from bikes, strollers, and communication devices were given out this afternoon to children with disabilities. It’s all part of the “Variety’s Life-Changing Tour for Kids.”
“This gives the kids a chance to belong,” said Variety Chief Executive Officer Charlie LaVallee. “To feel part of and a sense of mastery like we all did when we learned to ride a bike. “
Not only does Variety give away bikes, but also strollers and communication devices called “My Voice.” Since 2012, the non-profit has given nearly 3,000 pieces of adaptive equipment away in over 56 counties. Over the years LaVallee says equipment has been life changing not only for the kids, but also their family members.
“I remember one mom said to me,” said LaVallee. “Charlie thank you for giving this to our son, but thank you for giving husband and I the chance to have this experience with him. That’s something she said that really blew me away. Then she said thank you for giving us memories that we’ll have all our lives.
One kid receiving a bike; 14-year-old Laney Smedley. She now joins her two sisters who also have adaptive bikes.
“I first got to ride one of their bikes,” said Smedley. “I realized it’s possible for me to ride. In the past I said ‘you know, I’ll just put it behind me. It doesn’t really matter if I don’t get to ride.’ But now, there is a possibility.
After presenting the bikes, it was time to parade around the lobby.
Now these bikes have a price tag of $18,000. Since 2012 Variety has sponsored more than $4.8 Million worth of equipment.