Residents waved American flags as they passed through downtown Beeville escorted by local law enforcement and emergency personnel.
That evening — following a brief ceremony on the courthouse lawn and a meet and greet at Whataburger — the cyclists were treated to a home-cooked meal at La Amistad Adult Day Care.
Numerous area people and groups helped with the meal, including the 4-H council and 4-H members, who provided dessert, and the Coastal Bend College basketball team, who helped serve.
Donna Richmond, local cyclist who helped coordinate the Beeville reception, said, “In this day and time when you hear about buildings being ‘tagged’ and our own dollar store being vandalized by kids starting a fire inside, it was so refreshing to know that in Bee County these things are the exception, not the norm...
“The comments from the riders as I walked among them during the meal mentioned the good food but were mostly praise for the kids. One rider said, ‘Their innocence, giving spirit and sweetness are beautiful. You would never find these kinds of kids were I am from.’”
Richmond recalled another of the riders saying, “These kids are melting my heart.”
She offered her thanks to those who helped with the event.
“Combat hardened veterans and road-weary cyclists touched by Bee County youth, sweet,” she said. “Thank you, parents, families, teachers, coaches, club leaders, Sunday school teachers, for being a part of ‘the village’ that raised such outstanding children. You should be proud of these kids.”