Archived Story

Bikes for kids at coffee company

Published 11:02pm Thursday, June 5, 2014

A young cancer survivor and his twin brother are two of the six children who will receive new bicycles thanks to the employees at Massimo Zanetti in Suffolk.

Javon, left, and Jayden Lee enjoy their new bicycles and ice cream at Massimo Zanetti on Thursday.
Javon, left, and Jayden Lee enjoy their new bicycles and ice cream at Massimo Zanetti on Thursday.

Three-year-old Jayden Lee, who finished his last round of chemotherapy just two weeks ago, and his brother Javon took to the green-and-black bicycles slowly at first, then started zipping around the lobby at the coffee processor’s location on Progress Road.

Building the bikes and presenting them to the children was part of employee appreciation week at Massimo Zanetti, which also included a trip to Busch Gardens for every employee and their family. But in addition to employees receiving appreciation, they wanted to help the community.

“We’re all grateful to have jobs, so we want to give back to those that are less fortunate,” said Suzanne Ary, internal communications manager for Massimo Zanetti.

The company partnered with the Roc Solid Foundation, which assists families with children battling cancer, to find children who needed bikes. The foundation helps families give their kids as normal a childhood as possible, especially with its signature program, Play It Forward, which builds swing sets for the kids.

It was the second year for the location partnering with the Roc Solid Foundation. Last year, it built one of the swing sets. Employees participated this year by having a bike-building contest.

Jayden was diagnosed in November last year with bilateral Wilms’ tumor, which attacks the kidneys. One tumor was the size of a golf ball; the other, the size of a Nerf football, said his mother, Tiara Lee.

Jayden underwent surgeries and several rounds of chemotherapy and is now cancer-free. Javon has been checked, since he is at risk because his twin had it, but he also is cancer-free so far.

“The Roc Solid Foundation is wonderful,” Tiara Lee said. “My family was in need of a sofa, and they got us one.”

Larry Quier, chief operating officer for Massimo Zanetti, said the company and its employees enjoy giving back.

“It’s just part of our culture,” he said. “Our ownership, the Zanetti family, has been doing this on a larger scale all over the globe. We feel it’s very important to touch lives in the communities we work in.”

The employees’ community-service activities this week also have included a canned food drive.

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