Burr Oak Elementary students given bikes, most for the first time ever

CALUMET PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Nearly 100 students at Burr Oak Elementary School arrived Friday morning thinking it would be just another day, until they walked inside and saw some special gifts, just for them.

Cheers and excitement filled the school in south suburban Calumet Park, as 97 first-graders were surprised with a brand new set of wheels.

For many students, these were their very first bikes!

"They gave me a bike and I'm going to say, that's so nice of them," said Imani Hall, a Burr Oak student. "I never got a bike in my life."

This was all thanks to the Can'd Aid Foundation, a nonprofit that works to make a difference in children's lives. The group partnered with local businesses to make this possible.

"Folks from Windy City Distributors, CANarchy and Binny's Beverage Depot raised money by donating a dollar per case of CANarchy beer sold," said Alyssa Lile, of the Can'd Aid Foundation.

The bike donation is part of the group's Treads and Trails initiative, which is focused on keeping kids healthy in underserved communities. Kathy Fornek, a teacher at Burr Oak, said the unexpected gifts were just what students needed.

"This is special for them, that they each get their own bike," Fornek said. "They are all labeled with their names on it and they are all getting fitted with helmets."

Can'd Aid has donated more than 2,000 bikes to elementary students across the nation - and counting. This is the biggest bike giveaway they have had so far, and these kids will not forget it.

"I want to say thank you and you're very nice," Imani said.
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