Looking for votes, seeking wheels

Youngster pursues adaptive bike through non-profit challenge

By Sue Hughes | For The Times-Post

PENDLETON — Rayma Powell enjoys riding a bike.
“I love to go fast,” Rayma, 10, said recently at her home in Pendleton.
Rayma, a third-grader at Pendleton Elementary School, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth after suffering a stroke.
She rides a special bike when she is in school, but because of the expense, she does not have one she can ride at home.
Recently, Rayma’s mother, Ashley Johns, heard about a non-profit organization called Friendship Circle.
The group is sponsoring the Great Bike Giveaway Fundraiser.
Rayma can win a bike either through votes or monetary donations.
The voting ends March 20, but donations will be accepted through April 11.
“We are asking for votes — donating would help but isn’t necessary,” Johns said. “Rayma is the only child in Pendleton who has entered the contest, which is nationwide and includes Canada.”
If Rayma receives more than enough money or votes than she needs to earn a bike, the rest of her earnings will go to the next child in line.
“Rayma’s fundraising would help another family,” Johns said.
Johns said she wants people to know the family will pay it forward. Once Rayma outgrows her bike, they will donate it to another child in need.
“We call her Ray because she is a little ray of sunshine,” said Rayma’s teacher, Sara Hendrick. “Every child loves to ride a bike; it shows the world that we’re not that different.”
Rayma has worked with a physical therapist since she was 2 months old.
“The bike is good for coordination and body strength,” her therapist, Elizabeth Garrett, said. “It’s fun, so she doesn’t realize she is working.”
Johns said when Rayma was little she would watch children at the park riding their bikes. She was very interested in them.
“I like to ride — it makes me excited,” Rayma said. “I like to go fast!”
To vote or donate, go to Rayma’s fundraiser page: greatbikegiveaway.com/Rayma.