Ask Emanuel Prado, 7, about his new bike.
He probably won’t give you an answer right away. He’ll probably start laughing and smiling and wondering if he’s dreaming. He wasn’t expecting to get a bike for Christmas.
“It’s cool,” he said, after the shock began to fade. “It’s so cool. It’s orange.”
Emanuel was one of 30 students at Eastside Elementary School who — on a typical morning rally at the school gym on Friday — was called up to receive a free, new bicycle he wasn’t expecting. The bikes were donated by Academy Sports + Outdoors, a sporting goods retailer at 865 Shugart Road. Students were selected from a random drawing by school staff.
Emanuel said he was “super happy” he was one of the students chosen because he has never had a bicycle.
“I rode some bikes at my cousin’s house,” he said. “I borrowed his bike.”
It’s pretty “special” to finally have one of his own, he said.
“It’s my first bike and I’m going to be able to ride it,” he added.
Emanuel wasn’t the only one surprised, especially after Santa Claus made an surprise appearance, taking time out of his busy holiday route to run in and out of the gym to say a quick hello to students.
Maria Maldonado, star-struck and clinging to her new bike with a big smile, wasn’t even sure how old she was for a while after seeing Santa.
“Six. I’m seven. No wait. I’m eight,” she remembered, laughing. “I’m eight!”
“I have been riding a bike since I was six,” she quickly clarified. “Sometimes I ride by myself, sometimes I do it with my family.”
Maria’s family, she said, is prepping for a big Christmas. Maria is looking forward to “getting stuff,” but the bike is the highlight of her holiday season so far, she said.
“I’m going to ride this when I get home,” she said. “My parents are going to say, just, ‘Whoa!’ when they see it.”
Emanuel said his parents will also be shocked to see him walk home with the new bike in tow.
“They’re going to be so surprised,” he said.
Eastside Principal Ben Hunt said seeing kids get excited for Christmas is always a great time for staff.
“This is all thanks to business partners like Academy Sports,” Hunt said. “We really appreciate it. This has made 30 kids’ Christmases.”
Academy Sports delivers 30 bikes to students
Ask Emanuel Prado, 7, about his new bike.
- Local News
‘Belief in the boundless potential of young people’
When long-time school teacher I.V. Chandler was in his 40s with three kids to support and little money to his name, he left a steady job for the uncertainty of a newly-formed business.
Whitfield adds two days to school calendar for next school year
Sometimes they come to work and don’t get paid.
Dalton State College gets another tuition hike
Dalton State College students will pay higher tuition starting in the fall semester, which has students such as Thomas Skyes scratching their heads.
Police: Shooting suspect was angry over car problems
Omar Dedios was prepared to deal with a customer’s complaint. He just didn’t think the customer’s father would point a gun at his head to get his way.
Dalton school board nears tax increase
The average homeowner would see about a $65 yearly property tax hike if the Dalton Board of Education votes to increase the school system’s millage rate at the rate they are considering.
OSHA investigating death at Shaw (Updated 5:50 p.m.)
An investigation is underway into how a roofing contractor at a Shaw Industries plant died Saturday morning after injuries sustained from a 30-foot fall, officials said.
Police: Gun fired, man arrested following dispute on Morris Street (Updated 12:20 p.m.)
A man has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault after firing a gun following a dispute at A-1 Towing at 1502 E. Morris St. in Dalton this morning, police said.
Accused killer had history of gang activity
Weeks before Orlando Ramirez was charged with murdering one bar security guard and wounding a second, a fellow member of the Hard Time Surenos gang was beat up in a fight at the bar.
Police: Dalton’s gangs still active
About six years ago, Dalton’s “gang problems” garnered enough public attention to prompt police and community leaders to hold meetings and forums aimed at addressing the issue.
Saturday Academy wraps up
Martha Moreno was so excited about her 3-year-old daughter participating in the Saturday Academy this spring she could hardly put everything into words.
- More Local News Headlines
- ‘Belief in the boundless potential of young people’