HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of Holyoke school children will start their summer vacation with new bicycles.
22News was there Friday, when Bob “The Bike Man” Charland continued to bring joy to deserving children in western Massachusetts.
Bob, who suffers from a degenerative brain ailment, decided to devote his time to repairing bicycles and delivering them to children who couldn’t afford a bike. The reason is to get kids enjoying the outdoors.
Bob’s actions have inspired people and businesses to donate new bicycles, which he’s been surprising children with at area schools. On Friday, it was the Kelly School in Holyoke.
“It’s amazing, it’s heartwarming to be able to do this,” Charland said. “This isn’t the first school we’ve done, it was another amazing school.”
The 25 Kelly School students earned their bikes with perfect attendance as part of their overall good school citizenship. Getting a bike came as a complete surprise to seventh grader William Bell.
“My heart is just racing, like I thought I got in trouble but I would never expect me getting a bike,” William Bell, 7th grader at the Kelly School told 22News.
Parents shared that pride as Bob “the bike man” surprised these kids with new bicycles.
“Oh it means everything,” Lourdes Matos said. “His attendance. He did working behavior and everything.”
Jackie Glasheen completes 12 years as Kelly School’s principal on Monday.
“They’ve had a great year, sometimes we focus on the negative, we don’t focus enough on the positive,” Glasheen said.
The bike man plans to continue his mission to put deserving kids on two wheels for as long as he’s able.
22News will continue to follow him as he fulfills that mission.