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Bob McLain, owner of McLain Cycle & Fitness, stands with employee Ryan Hearth alongside a fleet of bikes donated to the charity Love INC.

TRAVERSE CITY — Seventeen children in Osceola and Wexford counties will get new bikes this year, thanks to the philanthropy of a northern Michigan business.

McLain Cycle & Fitness of Traverse City and Cadillac recently donated the 17 bikes to The Love in the Name of Christ, or Love INC., which works with low-income families in the two counties.

“We have a kids program where if you come in and purchase a bicycle for a child in our store, then when that child outgrows that bike, you get a 100 percent trade-in value towards the next bike,” said Bob McLain, owner of McClain Cycle & Fitness. “We then take all of them that are traded in and donate them ... to these organizations so they can get them out to the kids who can really use them.”

Love INC. Executive Director Diane Wood said the bikes will go to families who participate in the nonprofit’s Higher Ground Family and Learning Center. The center allows individuals to take classes on issues such as money management and parenting skills. Credits earned in the classes can be used to purchase one of the bikes. Some bikes also will be made available to foster children in out-of-home placement.

“The children who are going to get these bikes probably wouldn’t have a bike if it weren’t for this donation,” Wood said. “The people who attend these classes, they are struggling to put food on the table, and many don’t know how to pay their electric bills. These are very low-income families, so to get a bike is out of their means in many cases. I know they are going to be appreciated.”

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