Christmas comes early, kids get new bikes

POSTED: 05:28 PM PST Dec 09, 2012    UPDATED: 07:11 PM PST Dec 09, 2012 

Christmas came early as more than 300 fourth graders rode away with a brand new bicycle thanks to the 17th Annual Variety of the Desert Bike Presentation Party at Palm Springs Motors.

"It shows that people care. It's a wonderful gift for my daughter," John Avila said.

Parents and their star students stood in line as donors who listened to KPLM's radiothon in November handed out bikes.

"We pleaded with listeners to donate bicycles to the children," Variety of the Desert Vice President Doris Hemmer said.

More than $55,000 dollars was raised via listener-call ins -- money to go toward bikes for students who show good character.

Fourth grade teachers from all three Coachella Valley school districts nominated a few exceptional fourth graders. There were over 1400 applicants, and 300 students were chosen.

Riding around with new bikes, these excellent students say they feel proud.

"I try to study at home and do my best and when I come to school I try to know everything I can," Monyka Avila said.

"I'm very proud of her, she's done terrific. She's getting better all the time. She's doing great," Avila said.

Palm Springs Motors employees spent Friday night putting all the bikes together for the kids who deserve them so much.

"We've had some tough times, some strong head winds, sometimes it's hard for families to give kids a brand new bike. This provides that," Palm Springs Motors General Manager Scott Simmers said.  "The memory of getting a brand new bike is something that stays with you the rest of your life, I'm sure they'll remember this."