By Stephanie Gardner

As kids walked through the door, and saw what was in front of them, you would have thought they were coming down the stairs Christmas morning.  Their eyes were dancing and their smile could not be measured.  This memory was created by Adams County in Colorado. They hosted an event called “Wheels of Success”.   Dozens of bicycles were handed out to kids who are in foster care, many who have never had their own brand new bike.

Twenty minutes before the kids were to be escorted to the bike with their name on them, a surprise guest walked through the door.  It was Kosuke Kimura from the Colorado Rapids.  Not far behind him, was one of the Rapid’s mascots, Edson the Eagle.

After the kids were able to get off their new bike, they made their way over to Kimura and got an autograph and took pictures.  The Eagle made his way through the crowd, making the night even more memorable.

When asked what his thoughts were during the event, Kimura shared, “It’s just so hard what some kids go through in their life. You know, I’ve never seen that in my life.  I have parents, and everything, a good family; and some kids don’t have the same opportunity.  I heard the story of the kid that has never had their own bike, for 18 years, until tonight. You can’t imagine what that’s like.  The kids come here and get a bicycle, and to see their face!  They are so happy.  It’s just a bike, but for them it is a treasure they are going to hold onto for the rest of their life.   That face, the expression, the love of the thing, pure heart.  That is just great, and gives me the motivation to come here.”

Wishing they could do more events like this, he explains, “The entire Rapids team helps kids a lot.  We do charity events as a team, and sometimes, just couple players. Definitely we should do more.  I had a great time today.”  The Rapids are on a 9-game winning streak at home.  The amount of fans are multiplying quickly due to their performance on and off the pitch.

As the night continued, both Kimura and the Eagle were showered with hugs.  One hug, however, was more emotional than the others.  It was a heartfelt hug from a school teacher, who is a foster-grandma as well.  Openly touched that Kimura came to the event, she said, “Any time a person, especially a professional athlete, takes time out of their day to spend with kids, they are a hero in my book.”

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