Rebel didn’t care much about how fast she was going while she smiled Saturday and took off through the crowd just inches away from her wheels.
No one even thought about calling the police.
Her parents, Karla and Eddie Sanchez, of Davenport, and sister, Scout, 5, were all grins while Rebel, 2 ½, drove through a gathering of people who applauded her and her new vehicle at the Handicapped Development Center, Davenport.
Rebel, 2 ½, was one of 19 children as young as 2 and some in their teens who received specially made vehicles from Mississippi Bend Trykes. Members of the Rotary Club of North Scott raised money to buy the customized tricycles for children with special needs.
More than 75 volunteers, including Rotarians, volunteers from the Missisippi Bend Trykes group and members of the United Auto Workers union assembled the vehicles Saturday morning.
On Saturday afternoon, families arrived so the trikes could be further customized to fit their children.
Most of the families were notified about the project through Genesis therapists who work with the families, said Jeff Ashcraft, president of Rotary Club of North Scott.
The initiative was Ashcraft’s “president project” for the Rotary Club.
When a representative from the Trykes group gave a presentation to the Rotary some time ago, the group responded so enthusiastically that Ashcraft wanted to make it a club initiative.
Ashcraft, president of the Handicapped Development Center, said the center was the perfect place for the vehicles to be assembled. Additionally, “the North Scott Rotary has a long history of working with children with disabilities," he said.
About 15 more children are on a waiting list for the trikes, said Katie Powers, of the Trykes group. North Scott Rotary donated about $20,000, which covered the 19 bikes given away Saturday plus eight more, she said.
Angela and Drew Beard, along with their son, Kaden, 5, watched their daughter, Aurora, 2, being fitted and then driving her trike through the halls of the center.
“She’s very excited that she can move around with (Kaden),” Angela Beard said. “She’s just excited to be able to move in another way. It will give her more independence, and let her be more similar to kids her age.”
Karla Sanchez said Rebel’s bike is “extra small because she’s super-tiny.” The little girl clapped with delight while she rode off. “We are going to have a hard time getting her off it."