Christmas came on wheels this year for Newporter Niko Merritt and her children, Jayden, Ian, and Gianna. When they arrived at Bike Newport HQ on Tuesday the 23rd, there were four brand new bikes waiting – and helmets and locks – thanks to the generosity of the Newport Run and Chug Club and partygoers at their annual holiday party, and with the help of Newport Bicycle.
Every year, the Run and Chug hosts a party where they celebrate the season and raise money for a special gift in the community. This year, they decided to surprise a deserving family with a set of new bikes.
Jeff Heimiller, the president of the group called Bike Newport to ask if we knew a family that would enjoy a set of bikes, and we said “Oh boy, do we.”
Niko is a dedicated and thoughtful member of the community. When she’s not busy with her kids or working at Baby Steps at the Florence Gray Center, she’s giving her time to other women and families in the community. She also serves as a resident consultant to the Education and Economic Opportunity committees of the Newport HEZ project – standing for Health Equity Zones – run by Newport’s Women’s Resource Center.
Since last year, Niko has planned to earn bikes for her family at Bike Newport’s Bike Garage, but her busy schedule made it difficult. When Jeff asked for a suggestion, it was obvious. We’re happy to see this gift go to Niko and her kids; and we’re grateful to Jeff and the Run and Chug Club for their generosity and delightful community spirit.
Huge thanks to the Run and Chug Club – who also generously contributed to Bike Newport, so we can continue to collect, restore, and distribute bikes throughout the community.
From Niko and the Bike Newport family to you and yours – wishes for bike happiness in the new year!