It's getting to be that time of year again when we all start looking ahead and planning our Christmas shopping. You have to figure out what you're getting for friends, family, the co-workers you actually like, your hairdresser, the guy who does your lawn, etc. I know it's a lot to juggle, but I'd like to recommend one more purchase to your list: a new bicycle for a less fortunate child in our area.

I remember when I was a kid, I used to ride my bike everywhere. All the kids did. To me, having a bicycle is a pretty big part of childhood, and I think every kid needs to have that experience of going out riding bikes with their friends. Sadly, there are a lot of children in our area who won't ever be able to have their own bicycle. But you can help!

Pettis County Community Santa is a great organization that collects donations for children who might not otherwise have the best Christmas. One cool thing they do is a drive for brand new bicycles for young children right here in our county. Last year, 274 new bicycles were donated, and this year the goal is 300 by Dec. 7.

Dale Malone is leading the charge this year and is taking donations for the new bikes at both Dukes & Boots locations; at the big red barns across from Menard's in Sedalia and at the junction of Highways 5 and 50 in Tipton. Dukes & Boots started things off by purchasing 10 brand new bikes, and you can help too. For only $35 you can buy a brand new bicycle for a needy child. ONLY $35 DOLLARS A BIKE.

I don't make much money, but at that price, even I was able to scrape up enough dough to purchase a bike. It's a really good cause for kids right here in our community, and I can't tell you enough how great it would be if you could help make a child's Christmas. So bring your checks or money orders out to Dukes & Boots and donate as many new bicycles as you can, and help put a smile on a kid's face.

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