Southwest kids ‘cycle for success’

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by Kristin Mahr – 

Four children attending summer camp at The Salvation Army’s Camp Ponderosa Ranch in Heber, Ariz., received a special surprise during their stay.

Mark Roden, owner of more than 50 Subway sandwich shops in Arizona and California, and member of The Salvation Army’s Phoenix Advisory Board presented Tessa-Mae Little, Sabreana Quintana, Joseph Velasco, and Thesmond Bell with new bikes, locks and helmets through the “Cycle for Success” bike give-away program. More than 200 campers and staff also enjoyed Subway sandwiches for lunch.

Eight-year-old Tessa-Mae was chosen for this award because of her loving spirit and her ability to include everyone in activities. She respects authority as well as her fellow campers and is always willing to lend a helping hand. She is a very caring individual who wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up.

Like Tessa-Mae, ten-year-old Sabreana Quintana was selected as a “Cycle for Success” recipient because of her positive attitude and her passion to help others when needed. “Sabreana is a very unselfish person who is willing to give up her first position in line so that others will have the opportunity to be first,” said Sabreana’s counselor. The third recipient of a new bicycle was Joseph Velasco, eight, who was honored for his leadership skills and his compassionate personality. Joseph comforted a homesick cabin-mate when they first arrived at camp and befriended him for the duration of their stay.

The final “Cycle for Success” winner was 12-year-old Thesmond Bell, who was selected for his enthusiasm, positive attitude, and his sense of humor. Thesmond earned the respect of his cabin-mates by volunteering to lead them through a cabin competition and using his cheerful personality to keep them entertained.

The “Cycle for Success” program is a collaboration between The Salvation Army and Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona (philanthropic board of Subway sandwich shop owners) to honor kids who may not excel academically, athletically, or socially, but who have done something special and/or have overcome a hardship for which they deserve to be recognized.

The program began in January, 2003 and is held on a monthly-basis during the school year. Teachers from selected schools nominate students from their classrooms to be “Cycle for Success” recipients who receive new bikes, locks and helmets. Additionally, the winners’ classmates receive a Subway lunch.

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