Dbacks, team up with Boys and Girls Club to gift new bikes

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Story submitted by Jayla French. Sports360az summer intern and proud Arizona State Sun Devil Cronkite  school student

The room was full of bright smiles as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Blue Sky Pest Control, and the City of Mesa Fire and Bicycle and Pedestrian Program surprised 80 children with brand-new bicycles on Friday.

Each year, a different branch of the Boys and Girls Club of the Valley is in rotation to gift the children, and this year it was the Grant Woods branch in Mesa.

Two players from the Arizona Diamondbacks were there to assist in giving out the bikes, pitcher Brandon Pfaadt and shortstop Blaze Alexander.

The bikes were assembled by pitchers Bryce Jarvis and Ryne Nelson earlier this week at Chase Field with the help of volunteers from the Diamondbacks and Blue Sky Pest Control. 

In addition to the bicycle giveaway, the City of Mesa’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, along with Mesa Fire, provided safety instructions emphasizing the proper way to wear a helmet. 

The kids had the opportunity to choose their helmets and bicycles of choice. 

The Mesa Bicycle and Pedestrian Program also taught the children how to ride their new bikes and conducted safety drills with a hand from Pfaadt and Alexander on the club’s indoor basketball court. 

Tim Emory, Director of Major Gifts for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley, expressed the impact an event like this has on the club. 

“The main reason that the Boys and Girls Club exists is for safety and is a place to be after school. Secondarily, it’s for our parents to be able to work,” Emory said. “94% of our parents are able to work because their kids are at the Boys and Girls Club and they know they’re safe. So what’s really cool after that is a lot of these kids are getting a bike for the first time, which means more freedom, which means more flexibility.” 

This year marks the third year in a row that the Diamondbacks have partnered up with Blue Sky Pest Control to gift new bikes as part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America program, an official charity of MLB.

The Diamondbacks Foundation and organization is strongly dedicated to giving back, a value that is embraced by its players and is at the heart of everything they do.

“Regardless of how we give back – I think it’s super important because they come and support us every day and I think for us to get out in the community and help give back, I think it’s awesome and I’m certainly grateful to do it,” Pfaadt said. 

Additionally, Alexander reflects on some nostalgic memories and expresses the impact these new bikes will have on the kids in the community.

“Yeah, you know, it’s huge. I remember getting my first bike when I was a little kid, and I think I was the happiest dude on earth,” Alexander said. “I mean, giving back I’m sure these kids are going to have crazy memories with the bike and everything. So yeah, it definitely means a lot.”