Orland Raceway has hosted a children’s bike night at the facility since 1990, but this year’s event, held on Saturday, was far more emotional because it honored longtime event organizer Barbara Crain after her death.
“Continuing the event has been challenging but the most rewarding,” said Ashley Amaro, organizer of this year’s event. “The event would not have been possible without the help of the community, the course crew and all the volunteers.”
According to Amaro, more than 125 children ages 3 to 14 took part in the bike races this year, and more than 75 other children signed up for evening bike giveaways.
“Barbara’s goal each year was to exceed her amount of bikes and helmets from the previous year and for every child to get a bike and a helmet,” Amaro said. “After her passing, we all knew we had to continue her goals because she worked so hard towards this event for over 20 years. Those who helped with this event have always done it for the children and this year was even more special for Barbara as well.”
Amaro said 74 bikes and helmets were given out to local children during the bike raffle.
“Not every kid was able to get a bike and helmet, but it was definitely the largest donation we’ve had over the years,” Amaro said. “Bikes and helmets were all donated by multiple businesses and families in Corning, Orland, Chico and Willows. There were also many donations from the racers at the track.”
According to Amaro, the organizers felt it was important to continue this longstanding tradition after Crain’s death as she looked forward to the event every year.
“She loved getting the community involved, getting more publicity for the track, but mostly giving bikes to all the kids and seeing their smiles all night,” Amaro said.
Winners of this year’s cycle races by age group include:
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped out,” Amaro said. “From the generous sponsors, all the volunteers, the staff at Orland Raceway and most importantly all the fans who came out to make this event the success it was.”