Friends take over Scottsdale charity after founder's passing

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A widow and friends are keeping the legacy alive of a charity that gives bicycles to kids for reading. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A widow and friends are keeping the legacy alive of a charity that gives bicycles to kids for reading. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Jack Hobbs started Bikes For Books. He died in October. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Jack Hobbs started Bikes For Books. He died in October. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
John Covington and three other friends are rejuvenating the project, using only donations and a little elbow grease. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) John Covington and three other friends are rejuvenating the project, using only donations and a little elbow grease. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The next school delivery is April 21, when another half dozen bikes will go out to kids. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The next school delivery is April 21, when another half dozen bikes will go out to kids. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The widow of a bike shop owner was worried the charity they started together would go by the wayside. But his friends are now paying it forward.

From storing spare parts to new bikes that have a little dust on them, a Scottsdale garage is home base for "Bikes For Books," a group with plenty of history - but now, a new mission.

"Read a book, get away from the TV," said Ann Hobbs. "That's a big chore."

Hobbs founded Bikes for Books with her husband, Jack. Kids at select schools who race past their reading goals get a bike. Jack died in October, and it was unclear what would happen to this program. 

"That's what Jack had in his heart. He always did it. He loved it, and we were always worried about what would happen in the future," Hobbs said.

"We're trying to pick up the pieces because Jack was doing this pretty much out of his house," said John Covington.

He and three other friends are rejuvenating the project, using only donations and a little elbow grease.

"It's amazing when you ask what people will deliver and it brings such joy to the kids," Covington said.

The next school delivery is April 21, when another half dozen bikes will go out to kids. It's a feat they said is only possible because of the groundwork Jack laid out.

"Jack would be thrilled," Covington said. "I know he's watching us now and he'd be thrilled. I just got a shiver thinking about it."

"His work has not gone in vain," Hobbs said.

If you would like to help, visit: Bikes For Books AZ.

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