Tykes on Trikes

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See photos of the event here.

Newport Beach kids will be pedaling for charity Saturday during a locally sponsored Trike-A-Thon for St. Jude Children‘s Research Hospital.

The Newport Coast Moms Offering Moms Support Club will host the event that will showcase children racing around a track at the Newport Coast Community Center on their trikes, bikes and ride-on toys. Kids too young to pedal on their own can be pushed by a parent or caretaker, said the club’s co-president Heather Ignatin.

“It will be a great (event) for Newport Beach families to come out and have fun, enjoy themselves,” she said. “The kids will learn bike safety and support a great cause all at the same time.”

The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted for St. Jude’s hospital. Donations can be made before or after the event through St. Jude’s website or on the day of the Trike-A-Thon to the MOMS club.

Donations are welcomed but not required by attendees, Ignatin said. She hopes families will come out and support the cause, even if they can’t make a donation, she said.

“We want to reach out and have as many people from the community come and participate,” Ignatin said.

The club is asking for all participants to bring a helmet though, she added.

A representative from the Newport Beach Police Department will also be on hand on race day to talk about bike safety, Ignatin added.

The festivities will go from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will include a free lunch and shaved ice for purchase, a percentage of which will go to St. Jude’s.

All the members are excited for the cause and the fun event, said club board member Alison Nightingale.

“We figured this would be a good charity to support and have some fun too,” she said.

It is also a good way to teach children the importance of giving back and helping those in need, she said.

It’s important they learn that at a young age, she added. While some may be too young to grasp the idea, many of them do understand what they are doing and why, she said.

Alison Nightingale helps her son Nathan, 19-months-old, practice riding his tricycle for the Newport Coast MOMS Club Trike-A-Thon on Saturday.

The event has been about one month in the making, Ignatin said. The kids made signs, they practiced at the community center and everyone involved has been trying to get the word out.

The kids have been getting people or businesses to sponsor them in the race or make donations, Nightingale said. The group has also gotten a few corporate sponsors and local businesses to donate their time or a portion of their sales revenue.

The corporate sponsors include Amp Research, Wiki Wiki Shaved Ice and SugarBead. Aaron Bertram of OC-based Kids Imagine Nation will MC the event. SugarBead, an online Newport Beach-based custom, handmade jewelry store (www.sugarbead.com), will donate 15 percent of jewelry sales to St. Jude between now and August 31.

The international club’s main goal is to provide support and friendship to stay-at-home moms, along with participation in philanthropic events.

The club, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity made up entirely of Newport Coast mothers, has done several philanthropic events and fundraisers in the past, including Casa Teresa, Project Cuddle and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Most of their fundraising efforts are mom, child or family focused, said Alison Nightingale, MOMS club board member.

The Newport Coast mothers collected dozens of gently used toys and baby clothes for the charity Casa Teresa late last year. Casa Teresa is an Orange County organization that helps homeless pregnant women.

They have also donated to Project Cuddle, a Costa Mesa-based non-profit charity that offers safe and legal alternatives to baby abandonment.

In December, the MOMS group adopted a family as part of the Share Ourselves Annual Adopt-A-Family program. They have also participated in many community events, including the Race for the Cure and the Corona del Mar 5K.

“We are always thinking of ways to get involved in the community and help out with various causes,” Ignatin said.

This is the club’s first year doing the Trike-A-Thon, but they have two or three big charity fundraisers a year.

“St. Jude’s has been on our minds for a while,” Nightingale said. “Because we are a moms club it kind of hits close to home…It’s overwhelming to imagine what it might be like if your (child) wasn’t healthy… We want to help out (in) any way we can.”

St. Jude’s is a great hospital, Ignatin and Nightingale both agreed. The children’s hospital does not turn any patient away if they are unable to pay and they have wonderful family support, Nightingale said.

Club members really embraced the idea, Ignatin said.

“As a mom’s group, it’s really heartbreaking knowing that there are kids (out there) fighting for their lives,” Ignatin said. “As moms…We can relate… We wanted to do whatever we can to help.”


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