Dozens of children surprised with new bikes & helmets

Donations made possible through Academy Sports & Outdoors and anonymous donor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Christmas came early Friday for children and teens from the Police Athletic League, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Carpenter’s Shop and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Outside TIAA Bank Field, there were big smiles from families all around, little ones got fit for new helmets and young riders got lessons on how to properly lock up their bikes.

“It’s been a rough two years and kids have had it tough and if any way we can help make it a bright and shiny Christmas, we hope to do so,” said Wes Bernhardt, chairman of the Harvey Berhardt Foundation.

“Even though it’s supposed to be a festive time it can be a depressing time for a lot of people in need so we hope that we can make an impact and help them this year,” he continued.

About 80 local children were surprised with new bikes and helmets. The gifts were made possible by Academy Sports and Outdoors, and an anonymous donor at the Harvey Bernhardt Foundation.

Nancy Noguera, a mother of six, was thrilled and grateful.

“They had no idea, they’re super excited,” she said.

About the Author:

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.