Colorado nonprofit donates 80 bicycles to Colorado Springs kids

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First and second graders at West Elementary School got a big holiday surprise from a Secret Santa on Monday.

Each kid waited for their name to be called during an assembly at the school to receive a bike and helmet.

It’s all so some kids who don’t typically get a present like this have an extra special surprise.

“For many of them this will probably be the first brand new bike they’ve ever had, and for some of them it may be the first bike they’ve ever had,” said Karen Newton, principal at West Elementary.

All 80 bikes were donated by the CAN’d Aid Foundation and were built on Sunday by community volunteers, members of the CAN’d Aid Foundation, and staff at the local Oskar Blues Brewery.

“The looks on the kids’ face and their reaction is priceless,” said Diana Ralston, executive director of the CAN’d Aid Foundation. “Most of us can remember our first bike and how excited we were–the sense of freedom that came along with it. Everybody pitching in really does make a huge impact and difference.”

It was a special moment for the kids, but also for their families.

“When they raised the curtain, I was so excited for my new bike,” said student Leila Martinez.

“It’s a complete surprise to her for the bike, for us, and to celebrate this moment for her,” said Leila’s uncle, Julian Martinez.

Leila’s biggest challenge will be riding a bike without training wheels.

“She is a fast learner at everything,” Martinez said, “I know she is going to do great with this bike.”

The CAN’d Aid Foundation has given away more than 1,300 bikes across the country.

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