From the Rushville Times By SARAH ZEECK
Riding a bicycle has been an American pastime for many generations. Most children remember riding their first bicycles.
Eleven-year-old Devin Hunter had that experience last week when he was awarded his first bike on Wednesday, August 17 at the Illinois State Fair along with six other children.
Because of visual impairments, Devin had not been able to ride a bike. The red bike, designed for Devin, has a bell, three sturdy wheels, a basket, hand brakes and a miniature Illinois license plate with his name on it. Secretary of State Jesse White led the ceremony. He said he was very excited to be able to present bikes to the children.
Devin attends the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville. His principal, Janet McGovern, said this bike will significantly benefit Devin. "It will give him a sense of independence, help with motor skills and allow him to enjoy riding with his family,"she added.
According to Devin's mother, Teresa Hendricks, the family contacted AmTryke and the American Business Club of Springfield, who donated the bike. "This bike is specifically designed to accommodate his needs," she said. AmTryke is a program that designs and donates bicycles to children with special needs.
Chris Oury, AMBUCS board member and ambility chair, said the organization works with therapists to determine the specifications for each bike. The club donates approximately 55 bikes every year to eligible recipients. "We've actually had a few children not be able to walk, and after working on their AmTryke bikes with therapists, they were able to take their first steps," he said.
Devin said he enjoys his new bike, especially the bell.