PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Academy Sports and the Panama City Police Department partnered to gift new bikes and a shopping spree to children from the Boys and Girls Club of Bay County.
“It’s extremely exciting, we’ve got 25 first and second graders here today,” Boys and Girls Club of Bay County CEO Hank Hill said. “Not only did they get a free bicycle and helmet but they got a free shopping spree.”
The event was important for all organizations involved. The PCPD enjoys events like this one to strengthen its relationship with the youth.
“During these Bike Rodeos and these events at Academy Sports it allows us to interact with the smaller children and some of the older children to become better aquatinted to learn who they are and for them to learn who we are,” PCPD Captain Chris Taylor said.
The police department is grateful for the donation of the bikes and $50 gift cards from Academy Sports.
“Providing these bicycles supports the Bike Rodeo and provides better community involvement for us to even further the program,” Taylor said. “To not having as many bikes prior to this, they came in and filled a big void for us in the community.”
For store manager Cody Johnson, this event was full circle.
“You know, I grew up at the Boys and Girls Club so you know having that relationship of when I was a little kid and seeing it now when I’m grown up and to give back to the community, to see those kids in my shoes ten years later it’s just awesome,” Johnson said.
The shopping spree was the first step in this project. On Sunday, the 25 children will receive their bikes at the PCPD Bike Rodeo event.
“Kids from the Boys and Girls Club will be able to pick their bicycles up. And there’s all kinds of bike safety, there’s going to be a bike course there,” Hall said. “Obviously with kids on the roads on bicycles, it’s critically important.”
The Panama City Police Department is excited for the Bike Rodeo and is looking forward to teaching the kids how to safely ride their new bicycles.
Along with the bikes and gift cards, academy sports gifted a $750 gift card so the club can buy any needed equipment.