Longview AMBUCS Donates Therapeutic Trykes To Disabled Kids

Today, five deserving kids got the ride of their lifetime thanks to AMBUCS of Longview.

AMBUCS is the National American Business Club and for years Longview members have been making therapeutic tricycles to suited to fit kids with disabilities.

KLTV 7's Lakecia Shockley takes you on this am-tryke giveaway.

With smiles on their faces, Oliver, Luke, and Kordan couldn't be happier with their new am-trykes.

"Those kids very seldom smile and when they get to where they can be independent and move their feet and hands they get excited," said Al Hairgrove, a Longview Ambucs member.

For 2-year-old Luke Gentry, his mother says, this day marks one of his first.

"It's just a blessing because he's never ridden a tricycle before," says Heather Gentry.

"He was born with a virus that caused brain injury so his hold left side is weak."

Which is why am-trykes are so special.

Each tryke is made to fit each child and because some disabled kids can't use their legs to pedal they use their strength from their arms.

"This is giving him independence and a chance to strengthen his arms and legs at home outside of therapy and it's just an extra that we might not be able to afford," says Heather.

"One of those can sell for as high as 1,200 dollars for market but we do give them away free. We started building these things here in longview in 1990."

Through several fundraisers throughout the year, AMBUCS and Skeeter boats raises money to build the am-trykes.

And for them the reward is seeing the kids faces on their new am-trykes.

"They become a new person and just seeing that take place and seeing that transformation is something that really touches everybody," said Jeff Stone, Sr., the VP of Skeeter Boats.

So far this year, AMBUCS has given away 100 trikes. Nationally last year, they gave away six-teen hundred. AMBUCS gives the trike away disabled kids throughout sixteen regions right here in East Texas.

Lakecia Shockley, Reporting lshockley@kltv.com