Hundreds Of Bikes Were Given Away During The Annual Tradition In National City
9:44 AM, Dec 25, 2011
One San Diego group came together Sunday to carry on a local man's tradition of giving away bicycles.Members of the San Diego chapter of the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club have spent the past year fixing up bicycles in Ramona.They spent Christmas morning continuing a 40-year-old tradition begun by Frank King and his wife Charlene."He had a kid living next door a long time ago that wasn't going to have a Christmas so he fixed a couple of old bicycles and gave them to the parents so the parents had a gift to give to the kid," said Dozer Hellemansen, who is with the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club.From that point, the Kings' generosity just kept on growing. Last year, nearly 300 bikes were given to children in front of the Kings' house in National City.Frank passed away three years ago two days before Christmas. But even though Frank is gone, the tradition lives on thanks to volunteers such as Kenneth Perchert."A lot of the community they see a bike and they don't realize what we do, you know, we go down the street. We're actually pretty damn good people," said Perchert.Hellemansen said he has been in the bicycle business for 50 years. He is now in charge of the annual program called "Christmas With Kids."He said he loves to see the huge smiles of the children on Christmas morning."There's not a feeling like it," said Hellemansen. "I mean, you get down there at 5 o'clock in the morning, we start wheeling the bikes in the middle of the street and the kids are standing in line, yelling, 'I want that one I want that one.'"Hellemansen said he loves to see the smiles of the kids on Christmas.Organizers tell us preparations for next year will start tomorrow.