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Published on January 17, 2018

Newlyweds donate bikes to CMN Hospitals

Jake Ellefsen and Leslie Thompson tied the knot on Oct. 7, 2017. As with any wedding, there were dozens of decisions to make about everything from flowers to decorations to food.

Jake Ellefsen and Leslie Thompson

"We both have attended a lot of weddings where the couples give out favors to guests. It's hard to find something that's right for everyone, so we decided to use the money we would have spent on wedding favors to do something good for the community," recalls Jake, who is an inpatient personnel coordinator in the Central Staffing Office at Gundersen.

Jake is a bicyclist and with a little help from some fellow enthusiasts, he and Leslie landed on the idea of purchasing Strider balance bicycles to donate to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® at Gundersen.

Balance bikes are lightweight, adjustable, all-terrain bikes with no pedals so kids as young as 18 months can learn balance and steering without the complexity of pedaling. Striders help a child develop coordination and confidence as they learn to master two-wheeled balance. These skills make transitioning to a pedal bike easier.

Jake and Leslie were able to donate eight bikes to CMN Hospitals with the stipulation that they wanted the bikes to be donated to families that wouldn't be able to afford one.

"I got my first cool bike from my grandpa and fell in love with biking," says Jake. "I want to cultivate a love of biking like that in others kids. Donating bikes for children in need was the perfect way to do that. It's something everyone can do."

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