The Green Lizard Foundation, the charitable arm of Green Lizard Cycling in the Town of Herndon, gave away bicycles to disadvantaged children Thursday evening, Oct. 1. Founded on the principle that every young person should have the ability to lead a healthy, active lifestyle regardless of his or her financial circumstances, the Foundation set out to improve the lives of children from families in need for whom the purchase of a safe, properly fitted bike and a new helmet for their child was out of reach.
According to Dan Fischer, Board President of The Green Lizard Foundation, the board worked in cooperation with a counselor at a local Fairfax County Public School who identified the children to receive the professionally repaired and refurbished bicycles. All donated bikes were of quality construction and made to last such as the Trek road bike, L.L. Bean Sports Cruiser and the little Schwinn Ali Hussain, 6, of Herndon tried out. Sporting his newly fitted helmet gifted by the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd. and Virginia Trial Lawyers Foundation, Hussain said, "I like the bike because it's blue."
"One of the Foundation's pillars is making sure every child has the access and ability to lead a healthy lifestyle and that includes physical fitness and outdoor activities," said Fischer. "Programs like this allow us to provide youth not only with bikes but also the proper safety equipment to ensure they are able to safely lead an active lifestyle," he said.
According to Landau, a properly fitted and non-damaged helmet cuts the risk of severe traumatic brain injury by 90 percent. Each gifted helmet came with a special sticker inside stating if it was ever damaged due to an accident, to bring it to their office for a free replacement helmet.
While the children and bikes took center stage, access to nutritious food and Covid safety that night were equally important. Everyone wore masks, including "Chef" and Foundation board member Jason Sickles who grilled the hamburgers and hotdogs. Covered trays of pupusas, fruit and more lined the banquet tables.
As the sun went down and the temperature dropped, the children readily put on the gifted long-sleeved hoodies and hats donated by Studio One. One by one, 13 children and their families left, fed and with their new bikes. "This is to be commended. The Green Lizard Foundation provides these children the help to stay healthy...and keep them active when school is in front of a computer screen," Landau said.
Beth Meyer is co-owner of the Green Lizard. She wanted the public to know if they had bikes, whether in good repair or not; the Foundation could put the bikes to use, either refurbishing and donating them to those in need or using the parts to make the necessary repairs.
A repeat bike donation is planned in the days ahead for those who could not make it Thursday evening. For more information about The Green Lizard Foundation, co-owners Dave and Beth Meyer and all the Lizards working to make the community the best it can be, visit The Green Lizard Foundation.