GSN NEWS STAFF

The way Gary Colby sees it, every kid should have a bike.

Yes, he owns Colby Cruisers in Gilbert and sells bicycles for a living, but it’s more personal than that.

Which is why he’s been collecting donations to buy 100 bicycles for Valley children who are being raised by their grandparents.

“I feel that a bike is a staple in every child’s life and that everyone always remembers their first bike more so then any other gift or toy,” Colby said in explaining his motive behind his Bikes for Kids drive.

Colby has partnered with Duet, a nonprofit organization that provides support for grandparents who are raising their children’s kids.

“Over the years we have given bikes to kids and I have seen the joy, emotion and excitement from the child as well as others around them and it’s amazing,” Colby said. “I felt that now was a great time to ramp it up and do more, so I created Bikes for Kids. I heard about Duet and wanted to partner with them to provide bikes for kids who might not otherwise be able to have them.”

His inaugural fundraiser, called Bikes For Kids (www.bicyclesforkids.org), runs through Saturday, Dec. 15, and he’s hoping organizations and individuals help him meet his goal.

For every bike he sells, he’s donating a portion to his campaign. People also can donate directly at kidsforbikes.org.

Duet has four main service areas, one of which is providing resources for grandparents raising grandchildren and other kinship caregivers.

“We truly hope the community can come together and support Colby Cruisers in their efforts to collect bikes for the grandchildren we work with who are being raised by their grandparents,” said Jennifer Franzmeier Fitzwater, kinship care services coordinator for Duet.

“It would really mean a lot to each of these children to receive a bike for the holidays,” she added. “Many grandfamilies are struggling financially due to their new role as primary caregiver for their grandchildren, and this might be their grandchildren’s only chance to receive a bike.”

Information: colbycruisers.com and duetaz.org/grandparents-raising-grandchildren.