There was a rather unique display of new wheels Sunday at Shannon Motors in Johnston.
Those wheels weren’t on any vehicle on the impressive Shannon Motors used car lot at Killingly Street in Johnston, and they were for one driver only.
In what was termed an extraordinary act of kindness and giving, Shannon Motors – with the help of Santa Claus who showed up at high noon Sunday – gave 25 children an early Christmas present, a shiny new bicycle.
One-by-one, starry-eye young children like Sergio Rosales, 6, from Johnston and a student at Sarah Dyer Barnes Elementary School, came to Shannon Motors after being notified they were a winner in the first ever Shannon Motors bike giveaway contest.
Perhaps the smile on Shannon Motors co-owner John Gosselin’s face spoke volumes of the satisfaction he and his brother Gary Gosselin – who couldn’t be at Sunday’s bike presentation – felt while watching each bike winner receive that early Christmas gift with Jolly Old Saint Nick by their side.
“It’s special,” said John Gosselin. “This makes everyone here at Shannon Motors happy and proud; it’s out Christmas for sure.”
Employees like Shannon Motors Office Manager Gina Amore and staffers Anne Quinn, Dawn Lapan, Marenis Peralta and Williana Pimentel felt the spirit of Christmas while watching youngsters like Chace Battey, 8, of West Warwick try out his new bicycle.
Not even a slight rain shower, which forced some of the bike presentations to be held inside, could dampen what Shannon Motors Marketing Director Jason Aleman called “a special day for everyone here at Shannon Motors but most especially 25 children who now have a much-needed and new bicycle.”
Had it not been for Shannon Motors, those children – who came from far and near – may not have had an early Merry Christmas.
“When we initiated the Bike Giveaway Contest,” Aleman said, “we asked people to identify children in need of a new bicycle but couldn’t afford one on our Facebook page and we were stunned that we received over 10,000 inquiries. The response was incredible.”
So Sunday, inside of two hours, Shannon Motors turned Santa and put smiles on the faces of 25 children that seemed to shine even greater than each of their new bicycles that also came with a shiny and colorful helmet.