Lockheed Martin Celebrates Holiday With Parade

Adelaida Chacin, a ninth-grader at the Jane Justin School, and nine of her classmates received new bikes during the annual Lockheed Martin Holiday Charities Parade. She tried seven different helmets and couldn’t find the right one.
Adelaida’s favorite color is teal. Her black framed eyeglasses are trimmed with teal. Her new bike sported a matte black finish with teal colored lower frame. Even the seat had a teal racing stripe running through the middle.
“I chose it because it matches my glasses,” Adelaida said. “It has one of my favorite colors.”
Adelaida was looking for a teal helmet that fit her.
“I just want it to fit me,” Adelaida said. “Some of the helmets are too small for my head, so I’m still trying to search for one.”
Adelaida and her classmates took part in the parade, which was led by a Marine Corps Color Guard, and a drum line from Brewer High School.
The parade members marched through the visitors’ center and across the assembly floor into an auditorium where they were greeted with remarks by Mike Cawood, the Lockheed Martin vice president of F-16 and F-22 project development.
“You’re making your lives more meaningful through your giving,” Cawood said.
The employees of Lockheed Martin raised over $182,000 to donate to various charities including, Toys for Tots, Cowboy Santas and the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
Lockheed Martin will also donate 120 more bikes to be distributed by Toys for Tots to local children this Christmas.
Their not done yet, the donation campaign runs until Dec. 21.
Susan Wright, the administrator of the employee giving program at Lockheed Martin, says the employees enjoy giving back to the community.
“A lot of our employees give back because they remember when they got their first bike,” Wright said. “Making the small little gift, we get to see the magic of Christmas through the child’s eye.”
The ten students participating in the parade are part of the Child Studies Center a program for special needs children. Wright says riding a bike with friends is a part of childhood.
“All of them are not at the same age or abilities as their peers,” Wright said. “But when you’re a little kid in the community riding a bike with your friends, it doesn’t matter what abilities you have, this bike makes it equal.”
Amy Baxter, the mother of eight grader Hendrix Wagner, the feelings that her son expressed when choosing his bike.
“It’s a great way for him to feel like he’s important and feel celebrated,” Baxter said. “It makes him feel seen and happy.”
Baxter remembers her first bike and the memories and scars that came with it.
“I used all my birthday money and bought a bike,” Baxter said. “We lived on a hill, so I bought it just so I could ride it down the hill. I remember scraping up my knees; I still have scars.”
Everybody has a first bike story including Tracie Mann, the headmaster of the Jane Justin School.
“The way I learned how to ride a bike, my next-door neighbor put me on top of my Strawberry Shortcake bike in my backyard on a hill,” Mann said. “She said ‘just roll down and I’ll meet you at the bottom.’ That is how I literally learned how to ride my bike. Pure trial and error, nobody was running beside me, but it turned out ok.”
As the parade disbursed and the students walked away proud of their new bikes, Adelaida pulled back her hair and placed a black helmet over her head. She then grabbed the two teal straps and snapped them together beneath her chin.
She was ready to ride off and create her own first bike story.