Henri Sorto Guevera, 10, and his mentor Anthony Trapani, work...

Henri Sorto Guevera, 10, and his mentor Anthony Trapani, work together to assemble a bicycle at Maplewood Intermediate School in Huntington Station, Nov. 22, 2014. Credit: Ed Betz

Alexa Beaubrun struggled to ride her new bike outside Maplewood Intermediate School in Huntington Station on Saturday -- it was a little too big for the 10-year-old.

"She'll grow right into it," said her mother, Stacey Beaubrun, 40, an assistant teacher of autistic children from South Huntington. "And she'll learn real quick."

Alexa was one of 20 fifth-graders at the school who assembled donated bikes with the help of parents and volunteers and then were surprised to learn they could keep the toys.

"I love it," Alexa said. "I thought it was going to be hard, but I had help."

The school selected the students based on criteria from the program's sponsor, the D'Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation, which considered children from low-income families with good academic performance and classroom behavior.

The foundation -- which was started by the Jets player from Freeport -- purchased most of the Pacific Evolution 26-inch mountain bikes and helmets. The school paid for seven of the 20 bikes, which cost about $80 each, Principal Vito D'Elia said.

The children gathered in the school's cafeteria Saturday morning and were told they were building bicycles for other children.

"These kids are so excited to build a bike for someone else, but in the end we announce the bike is actually for them and the kids go crazy," said Eric Hernandez, 42, a special adviser to the foundation who works in the financial industry and lives in Huntington.

The children's parents knew in advance but were supposed to keep it a secret.

For about 20 minutes the children, who came with a parent or guardian, worked with volunteers to screw in pedals, and attach handlebars, wheels and seats.

Anyi Lara-Maldonado, 10, said building the bike was "really fun. It's a little difficult, but there are people who helped me," she said.

"Thank you, everybody," said her mother, Maria Lara, 46, a hairstylist from Huntington.

Ed Ferguson, the foundation chairman and father of the football player, said having kids assemble the bikes was a key part of the program. "We want a kid working with an adult . . . working together to build something, building family, building community," he said.

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