Christmas bikes

Sheriff Bill Laird prepares to hand a bike to Dickie Smith for transport.

FAYETTEVILLE — A little more fun was injected into Christmas for numerous local children Monday.

Working with Wal-Mart, Mechanicsville, Va. residents Bo and Skippy Fields and their extended family and friends purchased over 100 bicycles — complete with helmets — to be distributed to local law enforcement agencies, hospitals, civic organizations, churches and schools to help make Christmas brighter.

The gift arose out of the 24th annual Christmas party the group held recently, an event which was attended by close to 150 people, according to Skippy Fields. The family and friends made the donation Monday at the Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Each year, the group has delivered Christmas gifts to a variety of agencies in different municipalities, including the last three years in Oak Hill. Last year, 15 bikes were presented, but Skippy Fields said a suggested — and reached — goal was matched by a member of the group, resulting in a much larger contribution this year.

The Oak Hill Police Department received 50 bicycles. According to Chief Mike Whisman, those bikes will be given to local children above and beyond the 100 who will be treated to a Christmas shopping spree at the Fayetteville Wal-Mart this Sunday at 5 p.m. via the annual Shop With a Cop program.

Fayette County Sheriff Bill Laird says his agency, working through local schools, has identified children to receive his allotment of about 30 bikes. Others getting bikes included Gatewood Pentecostal Church, the Gospel Tabernacle in Oak Hill, Mount Hope Elementary School, the Mount Hope Lions Club and Plateau Medical Center.

“We’re happy to do it,” said Bo Fields, who, along with his wife, grew up in the Oak Hill area. “It’s a fun time.”

Skippy Fields said that, in addition to their family, “All of our friends and their kids contribute to this.”

The couple’s sons, Danny and Joey, helped in the Monday event.

“I’m happy that they do this,” said former Oak Hill Mayor Barbara Hickman, who began working with the Fields family three years ago when Oak Hill was mentioned as a possible recipient of the fruits of their efforts. “This is what Christmas is all about.”

Wal-Mart employees assembled the bikes for free prior to a special ceremony at the Fayetteville store, a fact which Hickman said was appreciated greatly.

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