By @MichaelCaples and @StefanKubus –
DETROIT – Close to 500 second-grade students from ten schools within the Detroit Public Schools Community District received quite the surprise Tuesday morning.
The students believed they were simply having a year-end type of assembly at Little Caesars Arena to learn about road safety.
At the end of the assembly, however, they found out that nearly 500 bicycles with helmets were waiting for them in the Chevrolet Plaza outside of LCA. Each bike was individually tagged and personalized for each student, and the students were able to test drive the bikes around the arena.
Detroit Red Wings players Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser and Darren Helm were on-hand to help present the surprise.
“How exciting for these kids – these bikes, the colors, gosh, how cool for them to get these bikes and be able to ride them,” Abdelkader said before going for a bike ride himself. “I think they have some designated bike routes for them around their schools that they can take and, I know how excited I was when I got my first bike, it’s such a great way to get the kids outside and they’re exercising and there are so many benefits.”
In addition to the nearly 500 bicycles that were provided to students during Tuesday’s celebration, a combination of ten bikes and practice balance bikes were gifted to each school in April to assist in the Road & Bicycle Safety Program curriculum.
“To be able to do something of this scale with Chevrolet, who is so committed to this community, to work with the Detroit Public School system – it’s just so heartwarming to see people react to this,” said Chris Granger, Ilitch Holdings, Group President for Sports and Entertainment. “It’s a great message for all of us.”
Additional information on the bikes from the Wings’ release:
The bicycles were purchased from Meijer and built through Meijer’s partnership with National Assemblers, Inc. at the DPSCD warehouse in Detroit. Volunteers from Olympia Entertainment and the Red Wings individually tagged the bikes, helmets and locks for each student. The bikes were then transported from the DPSCD warehouse to Little Caesars Arena on Monday morning by Chevrolet.
The Road & Bicycle Safety Program, in addition to STEM Day at Little Caesars Arena (which was held on Feb. 5) and an upcoming community revitalization project, serve as part of a long-term community impact investment between Chevrolet and the Red Wings within Metro Detroit.