One Galion teen got a big surprise last week. Korrey “Junior” Vance was excited when a brand new, Roadmaster mountain bike was wheeled to his feet — a reward the 13-year-old earned for helping his family.
For the last several weeks, Junior had been riding a pink bike to the store to buy groceries for his mother. Before that, he walked.
He even saved up nearly $60 to buy a wagon in order to tow the groceries. He also collects empty cans for recycling money.
His single mother, Holly Williamson, walks to and from work in Crestline. His 15-year-old sister, Becca, helps take care of his other sister, 1-year-old Hailey.
Thursday night, Junior and Holly went to AA American Bail Bonds. He did not know the bike was being donated to him and was overwhelmed by the generosity.
“This is awesome, thanks you guys!” he shouted as he checked out the new wheels.
This started last Wednesday when Powell wrote a post on Facebook that quickly spread around town:
“I stopped by the grocery store today and met a little boy about 11 years old riding a pink bicycle and pulling a cart behind him for groceries…I told him what a good little shopper he was and asked him where his mom and dad were. He said I don’t have a dad, but my mom is at home and we don’t have a car, and my 1 year old sister can’t do the shopping. This little guy didn’t complain a bit, and was more adult and responsible than some “grown ups” in taking care of his family. He touched my heart.”
Then Richard Barton came up with the idea to get a new bike for Junior when he saw Powell’s post. Powell and Ken Reynolds, who own and operate AA American Bail Bonds, split the cost with Barton.
Powell contacted Holly and arranged Thursday’s event. Powell, Reynolds and Barton were all on hand to watch the family’s reaction.
However, Junior was not the only person to receive support from the Galion community. Two more bikes, donated by Lisa Payne, were wheeled in: One for Holly (with a baby seat attached) and the other for Junior’s sister. Now the whole family can ride together.
Also, Holly had been saving money to buy a car. That night, Powell informed Holly that her nephew, Jordon, agreed to give his extra car to her.
Some additional cash donations came in after Powell’s Facebook post. Holly said it will go toward the cost of tags and registration for the car. Also, an Ontario hair stylist offered the family free cuts.
“We’re glad we could help. You touched my heart,” Powell told them.
Holly and Junior were full of thank you’s. Then the group stepped outside to watch the test ride.
Junior will continue to go to the store and do other errands. When asked if helping out is difficult sometimes, he joked: “I give a little attitude then and there, but I have to do it — it scores me brownie points.”