Hundreds of kids get new bikes for 'Xmas'

Hundreds of children will be riding new bikes this holiday season thanks to a Bay area foundation.

Wednesday the 16th annual "Alex Xmas for Kids" gave away more than 500 bikes to 100 schools. Hillsborough County school employees picked up the bikes Wednesday morning at a Tampa Walmart. 

In order to select the underprivileged children to be recipients, the foundation reaches out to local school principals, guidance counselors and social workers. They have a daunting task of choosing the children to receive these bicycles.

Each school gets between seven and 10 bicycles. They're purchased through donations made throughout the year by customers of Alex's Southern Style BBQ located in Carrollwood.

Every penny of the proceeds raised is used to purchase new bicycles.

The tradition continues for its 16th year despite the fact that its founder, Alex Cooks, sadly passed away after motorcycle accident earlier this year.

Alex’s wife and sons, along with some devoted friends, are carrying out the tradition of giving back to the community, and even though he is not here in person, his wife Aimee Cooks says his legacy carries on.

"His smile will continue to shine on our efforts," she said.

Earlier this month, Alex was honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning foundation as the 13th Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-2016 season. This honor recognizes individuals that make a difference in their community.

The foundation has donated more than 21,000 bikes since its inception in 1999.

Click here for more information on Alex's Xmas for Kids Foundation.

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