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Hopkins students rewarded with new bicycles

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Dec. 16, 2011 at 6:16 a.m.

Students at Hopkins Academy wait in anticipation of hearing who will be the lucky 30 to win a free bicycle donated by Academy Sports and Outdoors.

One by one, smiles spread across the faces of 30 students at Hopkins Academy on Friday morning.

As their names were called, each student came forward and stood on the stage next to a new bicycle, courtesy of Academy Sports and Outdoors.

First-grader Justin Johnson, 7, only managed a nod when asked if he liked his new 20-inch Huffy, but his mom, Sharon Johnson, was a little more exuberant.

"He's going to be very excited. He lost his bike in a fire," Johnson said.

The Johnsons lived in Bastrop during this year's wildfires and lost their mobile home and many of their belongings, including Justin's bike.

The students were selected for the bicycles based on a number of criteria including economic disadvantage, but also on good citizenship and on academic achievement.

"Teachers nominate students and the staff also has input," said Becky Martinez, the campus' parent liaison. "Some of the children might not have a Christmas. We are so grateful to Academy."

Kevin Patek, store manager, said Academy began the program to give back to the community.

"That's the basic reason," Patek said. "Deserving kids in the school get the bikes and we're glad to be able to give back to the community."

Academy's Denise Ellison, as she placed bicycles on the stage prior to the ceremony, captured the spirit of the day.

"I love this part of my job," she said, adding another smile to the happy occasion.



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