Back on the road
WHEN 10-year-old Nick Essery's brand new bike was crushed by a fallen tree, so were his spirits.
Santa gave him the new toy on Christmas Day and he hardly got to ride it before the tree mangled it beyond repair. But last week The Northern Star ran a story about Nick's plight and Northern Rivers residents responded.
Nick's mum, Diane, said she was "absolutely overwhelmed" by the amount of people who offered to buy Nick a new bike.
"If I accepted everyone's offer, we would have ended up with a dozen bikes," she said.
"It was very humbling."
Peter Fowler of Ballina gave Nick most of the money for a new bike, but there was also a donation from an anonymous lady, who donated $20 through The Ballina Shire Advocate.
Nick wanted to send her a thank you card but no one knew who she was. Nick said he liked his new bike because it was "bigger than the last one".
"They wheeled it out and he was off," Ms Essery said.
"He rode around on it for about 20 minutes and we couldn't get him off it."
She said the new bike has pole position in the dining room because Nick didn't want to leave it outside near any trees.
If I had accepted everyone's offer, we would have ended up with a dozen bikes ... it was very humbling.