Cooper Little bent his head in examination, searching for the perfect bicycle.
As Cooper, 7, vacillated among the many blue, pink and green bicycles, he spotted the one — a red and black Huffy. Cooper, a student at the Child Study Center in Fort Worth, hopped on board and took a few wobbly strides.
“This is touching. It’s unbelievable,” said his mother, Susan Little. “It’s hard not to tear up.”
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics employees donated more than 300 bicycles and $100,000 to Fort Worth-area charities Thursday at its annual Holiday Charity Luncheon and Parade. A Marine Corps Color Guard led the parade through the company hallways, as dozens of employees followed, pushing bicycles and tricycles and carrying helmets. Cheerleaders and drummers from Brewer High School in Fort Worth joined the festivities.
Company executives presented a $10,000 check to the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund, which provides clothing and shoes to underprivileged Tarrant County school-age children during the holidays. The Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots, Cook Children’s Medical Center and Cowboy Santas also received donations.
This year, Toys for Tots will provide Christmas presents to 160,000 children across North Texas.
“A lot of these children would receive nothing on Christmas morning, so we want to show them there is hope,” said Marine Col. Tray Ardese, who accepted the check for Toys for Tots.
Every year, Lockheed Martin employees sponsor fundraisers and make donations to raise thousands of dollars for the holiday bicycle parade.
Linda Rigdon, a material accountant who has worked for the company for 44 years, said employees look forward to the event all year.
“This is our little way of giving back to the community, and it has just grown and grown,” said Rigdon, who wore reindeer ears and a string of Christmas lights.
Sarah Bahari, 817-390-7056
The generous gift from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics employees is greatly appreciated. But the Goodfellow Fund needs your help, too. We are a long way from our $1 million goal. Please send a contribution to Goodfellows, Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101. Credit card donations are accepted at goodfellowfund.org. Your name will be published in coming weeks unless you ask us not to.