It was a birthday to remember for Steven Lynch of Upper Island Cove yesterday (June 11) when he was given a gift from two selfless young men.
Steven, who is now eight, was the victim of theft last October, when someone stole his Honda 50 trail bike.
“All he said is that he hopes whoever has it is washing it and putting it inside,” Michael Lynch, Steven’s dad said.
Although Michael, mom Kim and brother Nicholas shared the story on Facebook along with a photo of the bike, nothing came of it, and the small red bike was never recovered.
Then last week (June 5), Branden Clancy of Marystown and Matt Penney of Grand Falls, who both now live in the St. John’s area, decided to do something selfless to help Steven.
The two are members of the 709Riders, a group of motorsport enthusiast who partake in activities such as dirt biking and snowmobiling.
The theft hit the 22-year-olds hard.
“I was going through Facebook, and it was around 11:20 at night,” Branden explained. “That’s when I seen the post about the stolen bike. The first thing I thought was, ‘who would steal a bike from a little kid.’”
After calling and chatting with Kim, Branden and Matt started a fundraising website on gofundme.com to raise money to purchase a new bike and began sharing the link on social media.
Within two days, some $2,700 had been raised.
“If we hadn’t raised enough money, I would have put the money in myself,” Branden said.
Yesterday, Steven had a birthday party at the Upper Island Cove recreation centre, and Matt and Branden drove out to present him with the blue Yamaha TTR 110.
“We put the key to the bike in a card,” Matt explained. “We wanted to give him the card, then surprise him with the bike.”
Friends and family crowded in the gymnasium of the rec centre to watch Steven receive the $3,000 bike.
The donation left the family speechless, and some in tears.
Steven is a boy of few words, but the smile on his face was enough to show his appreciation.
For more comprehensive coverage, see this week’s print edition of The Compass.