Community replaces stolen, vandalized bike
By Sarah Allen
MARSHALL — A stolen bike, later found vandalized, was recently replaced with a brand new one thanks to the help of several donations – an act that shows that “there are more good people … than bad,” according to Hilda Dun.
Several people throughout the Marshall community and other local areas came together to help Dun’s granddaughter, Bethany, get a new bike to replace the one that was purchased for her two years ago.
She said the old bike was “the first thing we’d ever been able to get (Bethany)” that allowed her to do more than sit on the sidewalk and watch the other kids, Dun said. The first day Bethany received her first bike, “The look on her face … was so priceless.”
But the bike was stolen last month. Dun said that Bethany had pulled it up to the porch but, unlike most days, the bike did not get taken inside because it was raining. The next day as the family was leaving for an appointment in Cincinnati, the Duns saw that the bike was gone.
Bethany “cried all the way to Cincinnati,” Dun said.
Later, Dun shared a post on Facebook which read: “Someone stole this Schwann adult tricycle from our home (in the) Rocky Fork Lake area. It belongs to a 10-year-old special needs child.” She encouraged people to share the post and to contact the Highland County Sheriff’s Department with any tips.
And that post, Dun said, was shared again and again, even by people as far away as Florida. “I was shocked with how fast and how far that post went,” she said.
Tips were also reported to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office. Dun said that HCSO did “an excellent job of getting (the bike) back for her.” But unfortunately, it had been vandalized. According to an updated Facebook post: “We have the bike back, a little worse for wear, but it is home.”
Dun said the bike had been spray-painted. A rim needed replaced, as did the brakes and the chain. A picture on Dun’s post showed the vandlized state of the bike.
Barnyard Cafe owner Steve McComas was one of the many people who came across that post. After reading about the bike, McComas said he decided to get a group of people together whom he knew had donated to other causes. And from there, “Everybody just came forward,” he said.
Among the donors, McComas said, were Kenny and Joyce Naylor, Gary and Rona Lawson, as well as another party who wished to remain anonymous. According to McComas, the anonymous donors were “pretty generous, too.”
McComas added that Kenny Naylor was “one of the main wheels behind this.”
“There were a lot of good people,” McComas said.
And, Dun said, when she found out that her granddaughter would be getting a new bike, she cried. “I was so surprised. I just wanted to make her happy and get her bike back,” she added.
The new bike was delivered early this week, about two weeks after McComas ordered it.
When Bethany was presented with the bike Thursday evening, McComas asked her if she was happy and if the bike was the color she wanted. She said yes and hugged McComas.
“You hear all these bad things,” Dun said, referencing reported drug abuse in the Rocky Fork Lake area. “It makes you realize there are more good people at the lake than bad.”
She added that the bike helps Bethany with therapy and with exercise. But, Dun said, the bike also allows Bethany to “get back out.”
“It make her feel like the other kids,” she added. “We’re really grateful.”
Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.