Donate a bicycle or tricycle to Sumter Optimists to make a child's holiday bright

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During the Christmas season, members of the Evening Optimist Club of Sumter and other volunteers refurbish used bicycles to give to underprivileged children for Christmas.

According to Tom Lawrence, an Optimist Club member, the "Cycles for Christmas" project has resulted in more than 3,500 "like new" bicycles being provided to children since 1997. He said organizers plan to give away at least 200 bicycles this year.

Donations of bicycles and tricycles, both new and used, can be made at any Sumter-area fire station, Lawrence said. Financial contributions are also accepted and will be used to purchase parts and supplies to repair the bikes. Contributions can be made to the Evening Optimist Club of Sumter, c/o Cycles for Christmas, PO Box 2883, Sumter SC 29150.

Lawrence said two more bike repair days are scheduled: from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 2 and 9, at 926 Club Lane.

Children who will receive the bikes have completed an application process and will be invited to a giveaway event at a date and time to be announced, he said.

The Evening Optimist Club of Sumter meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Angel's Mexican Food, 246 S. Pike West.

For more information, call Tom Lawrence at (803) 983-2875.