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‘King’ leads kids at annual bike event

8/27/2009 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Bicyclists hit the streets for the LeBron James State Farm King for Kids Bikeathon Aug. 22.

The annual event recognized and rewarded Akron-area children who have achieved academic success, improved their physical fitness and made important contributions to the community, according to organizers. Among the youths who participated were Akron residents NyKeya Stallworth, 11, and Alexis Robert, 11, shown at right top.

Photos: Krista Galloway
Rider Eric Garrett, 7, of Goodyear Heights, is pictured at left top as he makes it to the finish line.

What brought many to the event was James, who is shown at left bottom as he completes the ride. The Cleveland Cavaliers star and Akron native also used his star power to attract celebrities to the event. Shown at right bottom, from left, are Nick Cannon, host of “America’s Got Talent,” Little JJ and DJ Lance Rock, of the Nickelodeon show “Yo Gabba Gabba!”

Organizers said proceeds from the event will be donated to the Akron Area YMCA and the Akron Urban League. They added the Urban League will commit its proceeds to its educational, youth and community programming. The Akron Area YMCA will use its proceeds for its “Partners With Youth” financial assistance program, which makes sure YMCA programs are available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

The event featured three different rides — an 8-mile course with James and other celebrity guests, a 3-mile family ride and a Kids Invitational Ride, which was for designated youths by invitation only. Children nominated for the Kids Invitational were selected based on character, volunteerism or acts of merit by Akron area agencies, according to event officials.

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