SLC students roll into summer with brand new bikes built by community

SALT LAKE CITY – The school year is winding down at Washington Elementary School in Salt Lake City, and students received a surprise they’ll never forget – brand new bikes.

Thanks to the non-profit organization CAN’d Aid Foundation and Squatters Pub Brewery, 80 first and second graders at the Title I school received brand new bikes.

Students like first grader Ella Mortensen had no idea she would be going home with a brand new bike.

“OMG! This is the craziest thing in my whole life," she said. "I'm holding onto a brand new bike. It just appeared magically outside.”

“We really want to spread the message of having a healthy, active lifestyle,” said Diana Ralston, executive director for Can'd Aid.

Tony Coppola, marketing manager for Squatters in Wasatch, says their mission is to be able to give back to the community and help give people a little bit of joy.

“I remember the first time that I received one, and it was one of the happiest days of my life," Coppola said. "So I hope this is a little bit of the same for them.”

Each bike was outfitted with the name of its new owner.

“My bike as a child was a passport to freedom. We're very grateful. Very appreciative,” said John Kelly, Washington Elementary Principal.

Whether they’re first time riders or more experienced, each student was equally thankful for the new set of wheels.

“Thank you so so much," Ella said. "Because this bike is awesome. It could last til I'm 18."

For more information about Can’d Aid Foundation and Squatters Pub Brewery, click the links.