- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - For years, Bob Gross has worked behind the scenes to help children in Minot.

And that’s just the way he likes it. Never wanting credit, Gross has spearheaded an annual giveaway of bicycles, coats and backpacks to children in the community, the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/1ygLWC5 ) reported.

On Oct. 16, Minot said thank you and thrust Gross into the spotlight he has always tried to avoid.

The Minot Area Chamber of Commerce honored Gross with its Genie Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the community. Designed to honor the outstanding citizen, the Genie Award is given to an individual who gives his time and talent to better the community.

Gross fits that definition perfectly.

“We present this award to Bob in appreciation of his demonstrating to the youth of Minot the importance of giving back and paying forward in making Minot a better place to live,” said John MacMartin, president of the chamber. “Bob had humble beginnings, and he attributes this to his appreciation of things in his life.”

Professionally, Gross is a painter and a handyman, but his passion is helping children in need while honoring the life of his nephew, Daysun Gross. Daysun was killed when he was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver. Every year, Bob Gross conducts his giveaway at the site in Roosevelt Park where Daysun was killed in the crash.

“Fueled by the memories of his late nephew and his own experiences growing up in Minot, Gross has supplied the energy and resources for his annual giveaways,” MacMartin said. “Some years Bob has had help and some years it has been all Bob. Each year, hundreds of bikes have been given out. In addition, nearly a thousand coats along with hats and backpacks find new owners. This is no small feat.”

Knowing Gross, the chamber had to surprise him to get him to accept the award. A humble man, he never would have attended the chamber’s banquet, but they did bring him into the room and with the crowd giving him a standing ovation, he made his way to the podium.

“I want to say thank you,” Gross said. “Other people deserve it, too. I’m glad I could do it. Thank you all.”

___

Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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