Bike donations bring joy to children in Florence

December 20, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. — Academy Sports + Outdoors teamed up Tuesday afternoon with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office to make 30 children’s’ holidays bright.

The outdoors retailer donated 30 bicycles to children who were chosen by the sheriff’s office through Camp Pee Dee Pride.

“Thank goodness we have somebody like Academy and Al (Bishop, store director) to be able to give these kids something so special, particularly this time of year,” Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said.

The event took place in the store’s parking lot as several children, more than a little excited about their new bicycles, bounced around. Some received impromptu riding lessons from Lisa Hartman, a store associate who helped line up bicycles and corral kids.

“This is the 17th year Academy has done this as a company and the fourth year since we’ve been open to do this giveaway,” Bishop said.

“With everything going on, we thought we’d like to get them involved,” Bishop said, referring to the sheriff’s office.

In all this year, the company has donated approximately 5,500 bicycles that were specially made for this event. Each child also received a helmet.

“To see those smiling faces means more to me than anything, and I think more than anything that’s what Christmas is about,” Boone said.

Bishop said getting ready for Tuesday’s event was good for his store’s associates and offered a welcome break from what the holiday shopping season has put them through.

“This is probably the easiest part of the job,” Bishop said. “This has been a joy.”

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