Santa Claus may wear red during parades and on holiday stamps, but he wore blue on Wednesday.
Like reindeer pulling a sleigh, deputies pulling trailers filled with bicycles fanned out across the parish to give 100 children an early Christmas present as part of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office’s annual bike giveaway.
Now in its 26th year, the giveaway allows the public to see a different side of law enforcement, said Maj. Dean Savoie.
“I’ve been a cop close to 36 years and the only interaction that kids have with police officers is normally negative,” Savoie said. “So this is a very positive thing that police officers do. It humanizes us. It shows that we’re not always there because someone committed a crime or a domestic situation. We’re not always knocking on the door for something negative.”
One such door belonged to Heather Ordoyne on Chocktaw Road. Deputies delivered two bikes for her sons, age 10 and 13.
“My boys are really going to like them,” Ordoyne said. “They’ve been wanting bikes for a while now. We just moved here last year and I wanted to get them bikes to ride around.”
More than 4,400 bicycles have been distributed to children in need through the program, the Sheriff’s Office said. Donations are accepted year-round, and trusties refurbish and repair used bikes. To qualify, children of any age must be a resident of Lafourche and meet family income requirements.
Christmas also came early Wednesday for Markeisha Gaines’ 7-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
“It feels awesome,” Gaines said shortly after receiving the two bikes. “As soon as my daughter gets home from school she’s going to see it. She’s going to love it. My son is excited too. He’s acting shy right now, but as soon as you guys leave he’s going to go outside and ride around.”
Savoie said it’s gratifying to brighten kids’ holidays and thanked the community for its support.
“We would like to thank the people who donated money and bikes this year,” he said. “It makes me feel good knowing that we’re able to do this.”
-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.
Posted on Mon, December 23, 2019
by By Dan Copp Daily Comet Staff Writer