SAULT STE. MARIE — Chris Carr can fat bike his way around Sault Ste. Marie to cut lawns again thanks to members of the city’s business community.
Greg Lefave, president of Superior Dodge Chrysler, issued a challenge to local businesses on social media to pitch in in order to replace Carr’s stolen prized red fat bike, valued at $1,400.
Carr - a resident of Community Living Algoma who volunteers his time at Soo Thunderbirds games, and works as game night staff for the Soo Greyhounds - had his bicycle stolen outside Staples on Great Northern Road July 6.
"It was stolen," Carr told SooToday. "They cut the lock."
The money to cover the cost of a new fat bike for Carr was raised in just three hours by way of donations from 11 local businesses, in addition to some personal donations.
Carr picked up his new fat bike at Sportchek in Station Mall Saturday.
“Everybody knows Chris - even if you don’t know Chris, you’ve seen him around, you know what he does,” Lefave told SooToday. “He’s at every Greyhound game, and he’s always at the Thunderbird games. He’s always got a smile on his face.”
“So I’m like, this is somebody that everybody can rally around really easy. I’m fairly sure we can raise this money real fast and get him a new bike.”
Carr initially reached out to the public on social media last weekend after his bicycle was stolen.
“You took my pride and joy away from me,” wrote Carr. “My fat bike was my only means of transportation for me to get around and cut grass.”
“Now I have no way of getting to my grass cutting places.”
Lefave wasn’t even sure what a fat bike was at the time, but he wanted to make sure that Carr was set up with the exact same bicycle that was stolen from him.
“I wanted to make sure that we replaced it exactly [with] what he had,” he said. “I mean, he’s on that thing all the time. He’s always all over town, so I wanted to make sure that he got a really good replacement.”
Carr says that he has no big plans for his new fat bike - at least, not until he has a really good lock for it.
"Probably just riding around," Carr said, when asked what he'll be up to with his new bike this weekend.
Lefave, who is no stranger to charitable work, says he knew that the business community in Sault Ste. Marie would pull together in order to get Carr a new bike.
“It was really cool to see the business community come together like that,” said Lefave. “Obviously I wasn’t surprised - I knew right off the hop that we were going to be able to get it.”
“I never thought we’d get it that fast. It was definitely really cool to see the business come together for Chris.”
The gesture of kindness was not lost on Carr after getting hooked up with his new wheels.
"I'd like to say a big thanks to Greg Lefave for reaching out to the community to do what he did for me," Carr said.