Safti First gave away 200 bicycles to students in Merced, Calif.

Over the weekend Safti First gave away 200 bicycles to students in Merced, Calif., where the company’s manufacturing facility is based.

Led by vice president of operations Ron Drew, the Safti First team contacted the principals at four neighboring elementary schools in Merced: Reyes Elementary School, Gracie Elementary School, Don Stowell Elementary School and Margaret Sheehy Elementary School. In order to help encourage students to stay in school and achieve good grades, Drew’s team gave away 50 bicycles to 50 students at each school based on perfect (or nearly perfect) attendance and outstanding academic achievement.

The money to purchase the bicycles was raised through contributions from the Merced and Brisbane employees, and president and CEO Bill O’Keeffe was so inspired by everyone’s generosity that he tripled it, according to the company. This culminated in a big party on Saturday, December 14, at Safti First’s GPX framing facility where the company gave away all 200 bicycles to excited school children and their parents.

“To make the event even more festive, our employees and their families cooked over 1,000 hamburgers and 1,000 hotdogs for lunch. We had a DJ, multiple bounce houses, clown performers, face painting and balloon artists for additional entertainment,” says Diana San Diego, vice president of marketing. “To top it all off, we also gave away eight San Francisco Giants tickets that went to four families, five X-boxes, five Sony PlayStation 4s, and three Nintendo Switches. All of these prizes went to hard working kids who showed tremendous promise.”

The company also hosted special guests from the Merced local government: City Manager Steve Carrigan, Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz and Director of Economic Development Frank Quintero, who were there to attend the event and give students further encouragement. The Merced Fire Department stopped by as well to tell the kids about their new truck and hand out fire hats and stickers.