Indy man travels 50 miles in wheelchair for new youth center

Richard Propes hopes to raise $10,000 for the new Elwood Youth Center.

INDIANAPOLIS — Richard Propes has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to combating domestic violence and violence against children. He founded the Tenderness Tour in 1989 and has since traveled more than 6,000 miles in a wheelchair across the state to raise money for domestic violence prevention organizations. He is a double amputee.

“One of the great things about being in a wheelchair is that I think it disarms people,” Propes said. “I think some of the natural cynicism that we can have in our society, I don’t get most of the time. I get curiosity. I have people who want to talk to me about their loved one in a wheelchair. rolling, I have people asking questions, and of course, yes, people wanting to know more about the cause.”

This Thursday, Propes will embark on a 50-mile tour from Broad Ripple to Elwood in support of the brand new Catalyst Youth Center.

“I’m getting older, I’m now in my 50s and I started this when I was in my 20s,” Propes said. I have spina bifida, so I’m way past my life expectancy. And I think there’s a degree of people who think, ‘you know, if he can do that, then I can do something else, or I can donate or I can show up or I can volunteer. ‘”

This will be his first tour since 2019, when he made over 600 trips around Monument Circle. He did a tour representing every child who died from violence in Indiana during the 30 years of the Tenderness Tour.

Shortly after this event, Propes suffered an amputation of his upper left leg.

“It’s a good confidence factor for me. I love touring, honestly,” Propes said. “I tell people there’s no better way to meet Hoosiers than 2-3 miles an hour, and that’s pretty much what I travel.”

Propes hopes to raise $10,000 for the new Elwood Youth Center. Make a donation, Click here.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K44XTpQGOL8

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