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Gwinn High School student’s “outrageous request” granted

Local supermarket gives freshman $1,000 to give back to a local cycling program
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 6:18 PM EST
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MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Gwinn High School freshman James Dusette is pumped up because his “outrageous request” for $1,000 to help a local organization was granted by Meijer. He says all he wanted to do was give back.

“I was thinking about my friends and my favorite things to do,” Dusette said. “Then, I remembered ‘I’m in Start The Cycle. Let me do something for them for doing something for me.’”

Start The Cycle is a youth cycling program, helping at-risk kids become good stewards. The program’s Executive Director, Laura MacDonald, says the money would help keep the kids nourished.

“Feeding these kids is very important,” MacDonald stated. “They’re learning where the food comes from and how to give back.”

Meijer’s Store Director, John Spaulding, who is also a biker himself, says he was happy to help Dusette make his outrageous request become reality.

“It just kind of hit all of the buttons,” Spaulding said, “of how we as a community can get together, help each other, and then really build a better community.”

“I just couldn’t stop smiling,” said Dusette. “It was the coolest thing that has ever happened so far in 2020.”

The “outrageous request” was part of an assignment handed out by Dusette’s English teacher, Amy Waldo.

“He definitely earned an A+ for this assignment,” Waldo said. “I think I’m going to have to extend him with some extra credit for this.”

MacDonald hopes to see more kids, as well as the whole community, give back to one another in the times ahead.

“I want to see the kids helping each other,” she explained, “and not ‘I’m better than you. I have a better bike than you.’ They all get the same, they all work together, and it’s not a competition.”

MacDonald is thankful for the kind gesture from both Meijer and her fellow biker. As for Dusette, he plans to continue paying it forward yearly with this organization and others.

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