A local business owner has started a fundraising campaign to help a Fort Saskatchewan teenager replace his stolen bicycle.
Fort High student Trey Kerr was late getting home one day last month after his bike was stolen outside the Fort Saskatchewan library.
When his father, Jasen Kerr, heard about the theft, he went online to share the story, posting a message to the Fort Sask Informed Facebook page.
“My son’s 21 speed mountain bike was stolen from the library today. It is silver and the seat is ripped on the back,” Jasen wrote in post dated Mar.27. “Can the good people of Fort Saskatchewan please help out and keep your eyes open for this bike. He is heartbroken as he uses it to get to and from school and around town every day.”
The Kerrs reported the theft to the RCMP, but the bicycle remained missing. Jasen couldn’t afford to replace the bike himself, as a cancer diagnosis has left him unable to work for almost two years. Jasen, a single parent, said he has been selling off household items to keep the bills and rent paid.
After hearing about the stolen bike, Redneck Sticker Shop owner John Conroy decided to do something about the situation. He took to the Fort Sask Informed page to launch a fundraiser for the Kerr family, getting things started by donating $40 of his own. He also challenged other small business owners to meet or beat his donation.
“I was raised by a single parent and know how difficult things can be,” said Conroy.
The fundraising campaign has brought in donations from small businesses and community members totalling about $400 so far.
Jasen said his son depends on having a bicycle to get around, especially when it comes to his band practices. As a member of several local bands, including the Fort Saskatchewan Community band and two Fort High bands, Trey needs a reliable way to get to rehearsals.
Fortunately another local man has stepped in to help out. Shawn McCann has given Trey a bike to use until the teenager is able to get a new one. Jasen said that McCann fixed the bike up before bringing it over, replacing the brake pads, gear shifters and other parts.
Conroy’s fundraising campaign ends on Saturday (Apr.21). He is planning to use the donated money to purchase a bicycle for Trey at Winner’s Way Source for Sports. If the fundraiser is successful enough, a bike will also be purchased for Jasen’s younger son.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the bike fund can contact Conroy or donate directly at Winner’s Way. Conroy said that the sporting goods store will put all donations towards a gift certificate for the bicycles.
Jasen said that he is overwhelmed by the show of support from the community. For his family, the stolen bike was more than just a means of transportation.
“I wanted to try and get his bike back because of the sentimental value of us spending a couple summers together rebuilding it, making it up to par in order to work again,” he said. “But I was absolutely dumbfounded at the support that the community has given.”