Around 100 students at a Churchill, Man. elementary school were gifted bikes and helmets Thursday.

Pre-kindergarten to Grade 7 students were treated to the gifts, along with bike safety lessons courtesy of the RCMP detachment and local paramedics, according to Shawn Manning, the principal of Duke of Marlborough School.

The bikes were donated by Great White Bear Tours, a local Churchill polar bear tour company.

“It’s just great when we see the community coming together for the students,” Manning said. “It was all over social media afterwards how appreciative the students and community were.”

For Kyle Walkoski, the general manager of the tour company, he and his family made the donation to serve the community they grew up in.

“We’re all from here. My kids are the fourth generation Churchilllians in town. After all the things that have happened in the last couple of years, it’s nice to be able to give the kids something,” he said.

Manning said the students were given bikes and then took part in a safety course in the parking lot of the school, class by class.

“You could just sense the excitement,” he recalled.

Eleanor Sinclair witnessed the enthusiasm first hand. Her 10-year-old grandson, Lyric McIvor got to take a bike home.

“He said, ‘That’s a pretty cool bike,’” she recalled the Grade 4 student saying.

Sinclair said some of the children in the community come from low-income or single-parent homes, and having a bike is a luxury.

“It’s so nice to see kids who can’t afford a bike have one,” she said. “Some families share a bike so it’s so nice that all these children each have their own bicycle now.”

Sinclair said she saw dozens of children riding their bikes outside after school Thursday.