Community Events / News To Use

1000+ Kids Receive Sporting Goods, Bikes, Helmets, in Jordan Smelski’s Memory

New helmets for three brothers

‘Twas two weekends before Christmas, and Bike/Walk Central Florida elves were busy fitting and giving away 610 helmets to Central Florida families in need. More than 1,000 children received bikes, helmets, other sporting equipment and bicycling and pedestrian safety information at this year’s Jordan’s Sporting Goods Store.

The free store is opened on the second weekend of December each year by the Jordan Smelski Foundation for Amoeba Awareness in honor of Jordan who died at age 11 in 2014 from primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. He contracted the amoeba while on vacation, swimming in hot springs. In honor of Jordan, his parents Steve and Shelly Smelski host the annual free sporting goods store to give to children in need.

“Just remember that this weekend is about those kids. That’s why we’re here,” Steve told volunteers before opening the doors Saturday. “Let’s give them the best experience we can because this may be their only Christmas.”

BWCF volunteers, staff, Steve & Shelly Smelski, Commissioner Dallari

A line of families waited out the door for the opening and a steady flow continued throughout the weekend. Mears Transportation donated a charter bus to bring 50 children from the Orlando Rescue Mission to the store. WKMG’s Trooper Steve and Orlando Magazine shared BWCF tweets promoting the event and inviting families.

Seminole County Commissioner and Best Foot Forward partner Bob Dallari stopped by for a few hours to help out and support the event. He was moved by the scope of the event and the children’s excitement.

Rusty’s Bicycle Recycle repaired and donated many of the more than 500 bicycles that were given away along with new bikes, scooters, skateboards, racquets, balls of every kind, baseball gloves & bats, lacrosse sticks and more.

Check out our Flickr album for lots of great moments from the event.