Originally created 05/03/01

Children peddle toward finish line to benefit youths



Children peddled as hard as they could for the Aiken Kiwanis Club on Wednesday in the Annual Tricycle Race at University of South Carolina Aiken.

They said it was fun, and it was also for a great cause.

"All proceeds go to support the youth organizations, starting with the youngest grammar school called the Terrific Kids Program," said Guy Hill, Kiwanis Club board member.

The Terrific Kids Program supplies teachers with school supplies they need.

Children raced against each other on tricycles in the three- to six-year-old and seven- to nine-year-old classes. Each child was sponsored by a person or business contributing at least $20. Six children raced in each of approximately 15 races.

This year, tricycles replaced the traditional big wheel. Each tricycle was donated to the Kiwanis Club by a business.

Mr. Hill estimated the race raised $9,000 to $10,000. The funds also support the middle school Builders clubs, high school Key clubs and college level Circle K clubs. These clubs encourage pupil involvement in their communities.

"It gets the kids involved with the community for the first time in their lives, kids that have never worked with kids outside their own family," Mr. Hill said. "It exposes high school kids in Key Club to working in the community, getting them involved and started thinking `community.' That's what it is all about is youth organizations."

USC Aiken donated its campus for the race and has an award-winning Circle K Club, Mr. Hill said. Four main Key clubs are in Aiken County, including ones at South Aiken, Aiken, Midland Valley and Silver Bluff high schools.

Reach Valerie Rowell at (803) 642-0374 or valmac007@hotmail.com.