The Chargers kicked off the holiday season on Tuesday by surprising approximately 150 students at Catskill Avenue Elementary in Carson with brand new bicycles. While the event was put on in conjunction with the nonprofit Bikes for Kids, the bicycles given out were generously purchased by the Spanos family and organization.
"It's amazing," exclaimed Bill Pollakov, who founded Bikes for Kids with his wife. "This is our 15th year and it never gets old. In fact, every year it gets even more exciting. The kids are so energetic, the players are great. It's just exciting. It's a wonderful thing to do for ourselves and the Chargers organization who were the donors of the bikes. Nothing would have happened if it weren't for the Chargers and their generosity."
The second and third graders at the assembly had to write essays explaining what they wanted to do when they grew up, and were told only a select few based off their essays would win bikes. After LaDainian Tomlinson spoke about bike safety and making sure the kids take pride in their community, Joey Bosa, Sean McGrath, Geremy Davis and Jeff Richards read choice essays and awarded bikes to those whose were selected.
Then, the real fun began as Pollakov announced that every student in attendance would be getting a new bike and helmet, courtesy of the Chargers. As you could imagine, screams, cheers and even a couple tears were shed out of excitement.
"It was just awesome," said Joey Bosa of his second Bikes for Kids event. "I thought we built up a little more suspense with giving away six or seven bikes before we gave them all out, so it was exciting to see some kids crying (tears of happiness). It was good."
"It was extremely inspirational," added Sean McGrath. "These kids worked so hard on these papers they were writing in hopes to win a bike, and lo and behold, everyone ended up getting one at the end. But the buildup was the best part."
With the time of giving upon us, Tuesday's event was indicative of the Chargers' continued commitment to giving back to the community.
"You see how much of an impact it makes on these kids," Bosa explained. "A lot of these kids (may not) have (much) money at all. You could see it in the speeches and the amazing essays that they wrote. But just tricking them out…they're all crying to begin with, thinking they're not getting bikes, but then they are and they're crying even harder and it's great."
"Every time the Chargers put on one of these (events), I jump at the opportunity to get involved with the community," McGrath added. "Especially these kids, some of them might not have the opportunity to get a bike otherwise, and they're in here busting their tails in school. They deserve to get something out of it."
Chargers players and LT surprised students at Catskill Elementary School in Carson with new bikes.