Niles restaurant donating bikes to kids for Christmas

NOW: Niles restaurant donating bikes to kids for Christmas

NILES, Mich. — Since Rachel Wegner opened her restaurant in 2018, she’s wanted to start some kind of Christmas charity.

This year, she decided to focus on bringing gifts to those who struggle to put presents under the tree. 

“We’ve been through so much these past couple years, a lot of parents still don’t have opportunities to be buying gifts.”  

So, Wegner’s Lakeside Bar & Grill’s first ever Bike Drive kicked off on Thanksgiving.

They’ve teamed up with the local CASA branch and the National Honor Society at Edwardsburg schools, which selects a grade each year to buy Christmas gifts for.  

“They said they’ve got X amount of kids this year and it just so happened to be first graders, so we delivered 36 bikes Monday to Edwardsburg school and they’ll be distributing the bikes for us,” said Wegner.   

In these two weeks, there have already been over 100 bikes brought in.

Wegner’s documents each generous donor along the way. 

“When people bring bikes in we do take a photo to post on our social media and let them be recognized.”

With every bike, it’s another Michiana kid who will get the joy of setting their eyes on a new set of wheels this Christmas.  

“People have already been through so much, so for them to still be thinking about others this time of year is amazing,” said Wegner.

You can either bring a bike in – new or lightly used – or have it delivered to the restaurant for staff to put together.

There is also a Venmo account where you can send money for them to buy a bike.

Wegner’s Lakeside Bar & Grill is located at 2628 Lakeshore Drive in Niles.  

The Venmo username is @LakesideBikeDrive

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