By Beth Volpert Johansen
In its first year, the Grayson Cycling Club has managed to give back to the community in a way that far exceeds their very first expectations. With simple goals involving fitness, community, fellowship and altruism, the GCC has gathered enough sponsorships to provide 35 bikes and helmets to Lawrenceville Boys and Girls Club students who have excelled in academics.
Left: Lawrenceville Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year, Brian Ball interviewing Jasmin Moffett for a future video production.
“This is a major privilege and honor,” says Lawrenceville Boys and Girls Club Executive Director, Rory Johnson. “It is a great way to reward students for academic success.” Rewarding students with bikes for solid academic performance meets two of the three program pillars for the clubs, academic success and healthy lifestyle. “These kids will be very surprised,” says Johnson. “It will help others to strive for academic success as well and hopefully spark their interest.”
The Grayson Cycling Club meets many times a week, most often at the Grayson Coffee House. Like most cycling clubs, the riders wear “kits” emblazoned with the logos of sponsors. In the case of GCC, sponsorship money is earmarked for bikes for kids. While the riders set a good example of blending busy lives with a healthy lifestyle, the sponsors enjoy a variety of advertisement moving along the byways in and around Gwinnett. “We ended up with money to buy bikes like we had envisioned,” says Chris Banks of the GCC. “I never imagined we would be able to afford 35 bikes with 35 helmets.” Grayson Cycling Club Members and students together with bikes in background
Left: Shining Star, Jasmin Moffett, a senior at Central Gwinnett helps with the helmets
The scene was set with all the bikes lined up behind helmets neatly placed in front of each shiny bike. The kids ran in and placed themselves in rows. Executive Director, Rory Johnson played a clapping game with the kids counting up to silence...and anticipation. Who would get a bike? The question was answered when Mr. Johnson explained that hard work, diligence and study was rewarded. “This is the season of blessings and some are going to be blessed today for their hard work,” said Johnson. “Those on our Shining Stars A Team, who have excelled in school, will be getting a new bike.”
Pizza party to celebrate
With that, Mr. Johnson began calling the names of the students who had maintained straight A’s all semester. As the kids came up, a member of the Grayson Cycling Club greeted them and “introduced” them to their new bike. Seats were adjusted and helmet safety lessons were given.
Above and right: GCC members help students fit their helmets and adjust seats to get just the right fit.
“I had to get straight A’s,” said Madison in the purple shirt. “I work very hard to get straight A’s.” Her friend, Sayda was all smiles while they made solemn promises to wear their helmets when biking. “I get straight A’s on my report card,” says Sayda. “I am proud of my friends too.”
Left: Pizza Party! Right: Exececutive Dir., Rory Johnson and other members are so happy to give!
The most senior recipient of a bike was Central Gwinnett student, Jasmin Moffett. “I have a 3.94 GPA,” says Jasmin. “I plan to attend Kennesaw State and major in education.” Last summer, Jasmin worked at the Boys and Girls Club in Lawrenceville as a Junior Counselor. She and Brian Ball, the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year, helped organize the kids for photos and video clips of the event. Brian plans to use the clips in a video about the bike awards.
Following a group instruction by GCC’s John Coyle on helmet safety, the kids unanimously promised to practice safety when biking. Then, they made a bee-line for a pizza party while calling out huge thank you’s with some stopping for hugs.
The pizza party was great
Below: Sayda and Madison of the Lawrenceville Boys and Girls Club talk about their new bikes as they wait patiently for their helmets.