Christmas Bike Giveaway to benefit local kids this December

by Charles Gerian

The First United Methodist Church will be hosting its fourth annual Christmas Bike Giveaway in December.

The church, in partnership with Blackwell's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2855 and the Four Kings LE/MC motorcycle club, is seeking donations in order to reach its $7,000 goal. With this money, the church hopes to provide more than 100 bikes to Blackwell children

The giveaway will take place in the Blackwell Event Center at the county fairgrounds on Dec. 20 at 6 p.m.

“As most know, Cap McIlnay started this annual bike giveaway tradition four years ago as a way to celebrate Jesus's birth, and also to give back to the children in our community,” the church's youth director, Jourdyn Mooring, said.

“Cap was a pillar in this community who was active in reaching out to everyone while doing so much for Blackwell. As his friend and the youth director at the FUMC, I feel it is my honor to humbly continue his tradition of brightening the spirits of our local families.

“It's our mission as humans to serve in society and bless all those around us. What better way to bless a child than with a new bike?” 

For the past four years, the church has been able to increase the number of bikes it gives away.

“Children need bikes,” Mooring said.

“Bicycles aren't always a luxury for the children in this community, and when Cap began this project, he changed that.” 

McIlnay, who now preaches at a church in Tuttle, told The Journal-Tribune that he believes the program has made a difference in the lives of Blackwell children.

“I was driving down the street at the beginning of the pandemic, and I noticed a young boy riding his bike,” he said. “I couldn't help but think that maybe he's riding a bicycle because of the annual giveaway and community that supported our ministry. … And it warmed my heart. Maybe even made my allergies flare a bit.” 

Mooring said the $7,000 goal is to continue what McIlnay began, and to end the “pandemic year” with a bang, bringing smiles to the faces of Blackwell children.

“With the generous support of this community, I know we can make this happen, COVID-19 or not,” Mooring said.

Those wishing to donate may visit the church's GoFundMe account,

They may also donate by check. Checks should be made out to “FUMC Youth Group” and sent to the church at 524 W. Coolidge Ave., Blackwell, OK, 74631. Donors may also contact Mooring directly via phone by calling 580-363-4080, ext. 3.