A family’s moving act


It started out as a typical disagreement between mom and son. He wanted to spend every waking moment in the family garage working on his bike. She thought he should study more.

Like any resourceful mom, Valerie Luzadder negotiated an agreement with her son, Weston, that with increased study time would also come increased garage time – with just a slight catch. Wes should work to restore a wreck of a bicycle she had to like-new condition and then donate it to a needy child.

“Brilliant” you must be thinking.

I agree, and so did the Carmel Chamber of Commerce this week when the entire Luzadder family of Patrick, Valerie and Weston received a Chamber Champion Award for their founding and dedication to Bikes4Kids nonprofit charity.

That first bike back in 2006 went to a young boy from Orchard Park Elementary School, and Valerie can still remember the look in his eyes.

“He was so excited. He was jumping and yelling that blue was his favorite color. Our family is so fortunate to be able to help children receive what very well may be the only bike they will ever have.”

So board member Randy Sorrell stood before the gathered chamber membership to brag just a little about the Luzadder family who also own Carmel Cyclery on Carmel Drive at the Monon. He shared the story of that first bike, the fact that they have donated more than 650 bikes including helmets and that they are just good people quietly on a mission which brings joy and happiness to kids.

But wait, there is more. The joy and happiness bike-a-thon is not limited to just kids. What better feeling could you receive than knowing the “seen better days two wheeler” in your garage is going to Bikes4Kids?

“I can see it when people drop off bikes. They feel good knowing their bike is going to help someone else,” Valorie said. Bikes4Kids partners with other charities to accept bikes for children and adults.

I bet you have fond memories of your first bike. I sure do. A yellow, 10-speed Schwinn with the curved handlebars was my pride and joy. Valerie and her family reminded me of something very important; I had a bike to remember. What a shame if that wasn’t the case. Keep the Luzadder family in mind should you want to make a memory. You can trust them to see to it.

For more information, visit www.bikes4kids.net.


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