OGDEN -- Chanell Sosa rode her shiny new bike around the Ogden Amphitheater more than a dozen times before stopping to catch her breath.
The 11-year-old member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weber-Davis said she is excited to ride her bike around town this summer.
"I love this bike. I love the color. I love how I can change the gears," she said. "I especially love that I can go anywhere I want. I'm going to go to my friend's house. I'm going to go to the park. I'm going to go to my school. I'm going to go everywhere."
Sosa was one of 55 children to receive a new bike and helmet Tuesday night during the Great Grassroots Bike Giveaway. The Kent bikes were donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs and Your Community Connection. Local and national retailers were on hand to custom fit each child to their new bicycle. Lights were also added to each bike, and safety instruction tips were provided.
"This is the third year we've held our trade show in Ogden," said Roanne Miller, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. "Each time we have a show, we try to do something that is of value to the local community. This year we decided it would be great to be able to raise money to buy bikes for some of the local kids who can't afford their own."
The group originally planned to raise enough money for 20 bikes, Miller said, but got enough for 55, plus a $560 cash donation to each organization. Thirty-nine children attended the event to pick up their new bikes. The remaining 16 bikes will be split between YCC and Boys and Girls Clubs to give out to other children in need.
"I love it," said 10-year-old Sarah Elston. "I love the bell and the Free Willey horn. I can't wait to ride it around the block."
Dante Martinelli, 8, said he was excited to receive his bright-yellow bicycle too.
"I'm going to ride it around the block," he said. "It's cool. I like the color."
Miller said because the industry focuses on the outdoors, Grassroots felt it was their obligation to give back.
"Ogden is such a great town, and we enjoy being here, but while we enjoy being here, we want to help and be part of the community too," she said.
Lindsey Ketcham, sales manager for the Ogden/Weber Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the gift of 55 bikes and cash is very exciting for the community.
"Everyone is beyond elated with the generosity of Grassroots and what they have done," she said. "Their passion is the outdoors, and we are really promoting the outdoors right now. We want our kids to get out there and be active."
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a trade association with 46 independent outdoor retailers throughout the nation.