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Three wheels and a cloud of dust
By Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald

It was a special day last week for Play Time Learning preschoolers as they bundled up, snapped on their helmets and hopped on their bikes and trikes for a Trike-A-Thon held Friday.

The Rocklin school raised more than $200, raising funds for the children of St. Jude Hospital by pedaling around Brigham and Hawes Park in Whitney Ranch. Despite their age, the tikes knew that their riding was for a good cause.

“Why are we here today?” Kris Haight, owner of Play Time Learning, asked the 3- to 5-year-olds.

“To help sick kids,” they yelled in unison.

Throughout the path, kids had to anticipate cars (in the form of a decorated box), stoplights and stop signs. The event coincided with a weeklong lesson plan, covering road, helmet and riding safety, Haight said.

Also part of the lesson was about the children at St. Jude. Haight said she showed pictures and the kids watched a DVD. She found that her students were really excited and knew that hospitals can be scary, but also help sick children.

Parents were also excited – cheering on the preschoolers as they rode, lap after lap.

“It’s a great cause, great awareness,” said Tamara Wilgus of Lincoln.

Her two children, Ella, 5 and Nolan, 3 participated in the Trike-A-Thon. Tamara said this was a great way for her kids to do their part – Tamara and her husband participate in numerous runs, but this time it was Tamara’s turn to cheer on her kids.

Another parent, Amanda Dollar, was the designated stop sign-holder. She agreed this was a good cause for her son, 3-year-old Hunter, to be involved in.

“It teaches about safety, the importance to wear helmets,” she said.

Haight said she had no monetary goal set for the Trike-A-Thon. Instead, she wanted to bring awareness and help the children of St. Jude.

“I think my goal is more along the lines of – there are children who are sick in this world,” Haight said.