Linn Creek PD, Advantage Metals team up to make a child's Christmas Day a little brighter

Nothing can top the feeling of waking up on Christmas morning and running to see what Santa left under the tree. Most lake area children will get up early on Christmas to find exactly what was on their list wrapped and ready, but some children are not so fortunate. Linn Creek Police Department, Lake Area Kiwanis Club along with Advantage Metals and other lake area businesses are teaming up to make sure kids get what they want this year.

Last year, Linn Creek Police Chief Trevor Dowdney contacted Jason Ling with Advantage Metals to share his idea of gathering bicycles for lake area kids. "He said it and I said, 'Wow, I was just thinking that,'" Ling said of his conversation with Dowdney. "It was a great minds think alike kind of moment." Their idea became a reality when about 55 bicycles were given to lake area families for Christmas.

After seeing the success of the program last year, the two are at it again hoping to collect more bikes this year. "Essentially what we collected was only the bicycles. This year we want it all. I want the kitchen sink especially if it is made out of steel. We want stoves, we want farm yard equipment, if it is made out of steel or farris metal. Anything that has metal in it," Chief Dowdney said.

The metal will be crushed and recycled with the proceeds going to purchase new bicycles. "At that stage, kids in the community will probably get brand new bikes and the safety equipment to go with it. The more weight we get, the more toys we can buy," he added.

For Dowdney and Ling, it isn't just about the materialistic items, but about the feeling that getting a bike brings. "I hope the community will get behind this and understand the need for these kids to have a toy or a bike. The first bike I ever had was amazing to me and I'd like every kid to have that experience," Ling said.

"I think my first bicycle wasn't first hand or second hand, it was down to about fourth hand by the time I got to it. When you are a kid with nothing, something like one bicycle means so much," Dowdney added.

Lake area children are not the only ones that benefit from this bike drive. Last year, some adults were given bikes as well. Ling recalls recently talking to one mother who received a bike along with her child last year. She told him that she lost over 60 pounds simply by riding the bike she was given. That's what it is about for Ling and Dowdney... helping others.

Recycling items such as rusty bikes, pots and pans and anything made out of steel, aluminum, brass, copper and tin will be collected at Linn Creek City Hall Dec. 14-16. Other large items such as cars, motorcycles, trucks, engines, washers, dryers, lawnmowers, ploughs and roofing beams can be taken directly to Advantage Metals located on A Road in Linn Creek. New and gently used bikes can be dropped off at Linn Creek City Hall, Big Surf Water Park and Advantage Metals at any time up until Christmas day. The bikes are distributed through the Lake Area Kiwanis Club. Other major sponsors include Ez Disposal and The Landing on Main Street.