• 70°

Salisbury Police, Gerry Wood give more than 100 bikes to children

By Shavonne Walker


SALISBURY — Ashley Smith on Monday was able to check off one thing she didn’t have to buy her 13-year-old son, C.J., for Christmas — a much-needed bicycle.

The seventh-grader was greeted Monday morning at the family’s doorstep by Salisbury Police officers who hand-delivered the bike. This is the 18th year that the Salisbury police and Gerry Wood Auto Group have partnered to purchase and give away bikes and teddy bears to little ones who are too young. That’s in addition to thousands of candy canes.

“It’s wonderful. It really helps,” Ashley said.

She said her son has a mentor and they ride bikes, but C.J.’s bike is really too small and had a flat tire.

Smith, who is a single mother and disabled, said she’s excited that her son is happy.

Tenae Thomas’ daughters, Faith Adams and Taylin Thomas, were just waking up Monday morning when police arrived, but the girls were soon wide awake after realizing they both had bikes for Christmas.

“I’m very happy. I’m happy to see my kids smile. When I see them happy, I’m happy,” Tenae said.

She called the police and car dealership owners/employees generous people.

“It starts with us. If we can’t give back how do we expect others to help,” she said.

Gabriel Adams called the gifts a blessing. She is a single mother to four children — two of whom, Reuben and Natalia, were old enough to receive bikes.

All told, Monday’s event gave away 140 bicycles and 100 teddy bears, said Brenda Wood, the wife of Gerry Wood.

“We are so proud to partner with the police. All we do is buy them and they do the labor. The work is done by the police,” Wood said.

Wood said there’s no way the car dealership could make the connections with the community and deliver the bikes.

It was the first time Rebekah Johansen, 18, volunteered to help distribute. She did so alongside her father, police officer James Johansen.

“My dad invited me. I didn’t know what to expect. I’m excited to spread cheer and give back to the community,” Rebekah said.

Rebekah said she was also excited to share with the children and their families that “police are there to help and not harm.”

One of the youngest volunteers to help distribute bikes on Monday was Aeiden Barnes, the 10-year-old son of Major Shon Barnes.

“He asked about volunteering,” Barnes said.

” I feel good about it,” Aeiden said.

Paola Alfaro, 17, one of the Salisbury Police explorers also volunteered her time alongside her fellow cadets.

“I think it’s a good way to give back to the community,” Alfaro said.

She said it’s a way to help someone in the community who may not have much.

“I’m someone who wants to see everybody happy during the holiday season,” Alfaro said.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.



City, Bell Tower Green Inc. sign agreement formally handing over maintenance responsibilities

High School

East holds off South for homecoming victory


NC unemployment on 12-month streak of lower rates

High School

High school football: West comes up just short against Concord


FDA says Pfizer COVID vaccine looks effective for young kids


Warrant: Baldwin didn’t know weapon contained live round


Blotter: Man charged with breaking into used car dealership, stealing Ford Mustang


Kannapolis man charged with accidentally killing foster brother


Renting out Wrenn House is next on menu for Bell Tower Green Park


City to purchase, replace floating aerator devices for wastewater treatment


NC Community College president details importance of connection between businesses, educational institutions


Sheriff: Alec Baldwin fired prop gun on movie set that killed woman


CDC panel recommends expanded COVID-19 vaccine booster rollout


Truck driver killed after collision with school bus in Newton


Iredell County man charged with murder after three bodies found in burned Statesville house


Massive search for Laundrie ends as FBI identifies remains in Florida


Nation’s largest barn quilt mural to be unveiled in Cleveland on Saturday


Charlotte among six schools joining American Athletic Conference


Few details available after Kannapolis shooting claims life


East Spencer apparel store will host free luncheon for Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Catawba College receives record $200 million contribution to endowment


Blotter: Bullet holes found at Salisbury home


Rowan Sheriff’s Office releases details of NASCAR driver’s assault at coworker’s home


Council candidates discuss city’s handling of ‘Fame’ relocation, protesting, pandemic