Rain or Shine… Our Kids Ride!

Above:  Sadie is all smiles surrounded by her family and myself, as well as Variety Advisory Board Member, Josh Kopp and his family, who sponsored Sadie’s bike.

This past Monday, a handful of Variety kids rode their adaptive bikes in the Labor Day Parade through downtown Pittsburgh, and even though the forecast was mostly rain, the kids arrived and were READY TO RIDE!

Above:  James is getting revved-up for the parade with his parents and sister, Krissy.

This was James’ 4th year riding his bike in the Labor Day Parade, and his sister, Krissy helped us understand what the day and experience mean, as she shared:

“Though the weather at this year’s Labor Day parade was dreary, the smile that my brother, James, had on his face helped make the day brighter as he rode his bike through the puddle-laden streets of Pittsburgh!

This was the fourth year that James has had the opportunity to ride his bike in the parade, and each year we are thankful for the opportunity to participate. After a two-year pause on the parade, due to COVID-19, we were especially excited to get back into the action.

As our dad, Jimmy, is a union carpenter in Local 432, this opportunity means so much more to us than just getting James some exercise in one of the coolest ways possible; there’s few things more exciting than being in a parade!

We are proud of our dad and the work he puts in every day to take care of our family. We feel as if walking, and riding, in the parade is a great way to honor his work and show him how proud of him we are!

James loves riding his bike and getting to do it on a day that celebrates labor unions, and his dad’s hard work, means a lot to him.

Without the bike from Variety, James would not have the same experience being in the parade as other families walking in the Labor Day Parade; instead of actively participating on his bike, he would be pushed in his wheelchair.

In the parade this year, I was the one walking behind James, giving the bike a push if he needed it; in this moment, I was again thankful for the opportunities the bike has provided me to spend time with James.

As I’ve gotten older and things in my life have changed, I haven’t been home nearly as often as I’d like to, to spend time with James and the rest of my family. I will absolutely cherish this time I had with all of them, and I know this time spent with James will live on forever in my memory.

We all had a wonderful time at the parade, despite the rain! James always says on a rainy day, ‘it’s a good day for ducks,’ but I think the opportunity to see James and the other riders in the parade made it a great day for everyone!

Thank you so much for being a part of the Variety community, where it’s ALL ABOUT THE KIDS!