Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Texan recognized for donating bicycles to underprivileged kids

Ahhhh.. This is a proud moment for those of us who grew up in Bonham, Texas!

Bonham philanthropist receives statewide recognition
Posted: 4:09 PM Jul 27, 2009 at KXII.COM
Last Updated: 6:59 PM Jul 27, 2009
Reporter: Rita Kotey
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BONHAM, TX -- For the last 12 years, one Bonham man has worked to give underprivileged children over 4,000 bicycles. Now his efforts are being honored by the Texas State Network. Rita Kotey has the story.

Back in 1998, Bonham resident Mike Conners says because of the high unemployment rate he wanted to do something to help the children of families most affected by job loss.

"I saw a need for the children who didn't have anything," Conners says.

Conners says one thing that was sure to bring smile to a child’s face was a bicycle. Since then, he has been collecting repairing and distributing bicycles to needy children.

"The first year I did it I did by myself and I did 34 bicycles. The next year it was 87 and it’s gone up and up and up from there."

Residents donate old tires bicycles frames and brand new bicycles to his foundation so that he and a small group of friends can get them ready for distribution. So far he has given away over 4,000 bikes.

"To see to it that they get a bicycle at Christmas or at any time for that matter is a joy in my heart."

At age 79, Connors says he is not stopping now. That’s why he is being recognized by the Texas State Network as Texan of the Week. From July 27th through 31st over 100 radio stations across the state will air a special program sharing his story about his love for children and his commitment to giving hundreds of hours of service to families in need.

Conners says the Lone Star philosophy is simple.

"We Texans, we stick together, we help one another, and that's what it’s about."

If you would like to donate, you can drop off new or used bicycles or bicycle parts to Second Time Around in downtown Bonham.