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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pushing harder than ever

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rev. Richard Propes shares a moment with Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw at City Hall Friday morning before heading to Greencastle. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
* Area reverend embarks on 20th Tenderness Tour

For 20 years, Rev. Richard Propes has taken time out of his life to raise awareness for child abuse and domestic violence.

This year could be his last.

Propes arrived in Brazil Thursday afternoon. He began the 20th Tenderness Tour in Terre Haute and left Brazil early Friday as he headed to Greencastle.

This year's tour is scheduled to end Oct. 16, in Richmond.

Twenty years ago, Propes, a victim of abuse himself, left his Indianapolis home with "$20 and a backpack," on his wheelchair with the hope of raising awareness.

He hasn't looked back since.

"The people are amazing," Propes said. "I never went without a place to sleep. It's just amazing. I really found out how great people can be.

"When I started the tour, I was homeless," he added.

He has taken different routes since beginning the Tenderness Tour, but this was the first time he had visited Brazil.

Propes said this year could be the final tour due to his declining health. He is a paraplegic and suffers from spina bifida.

"I'm really truly pushing harder this year," Propes said.

While stopping at City Hall, several city and county employees visited with Propes and made donations.

Through donations, Propes stayed at the Villa Motel on United States 40.

Though he has received several state awards, including Indiana's Sagamore of the Wabash, Propes said he hopes to raise awareness and funds about domestic violence and child abuse during his tours.

"Every year, this reaffirms to me the goodness of people," Propes said. "There have been a lot of great lessons learned.

"My hope is by the time I get done with this tour, the kids of Indiana will know I've given everything."

This year, funds raised on the tour will benefit the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the New Community Project and Young Peacemaker's Film Project.

Though his health is declining, Propes said it may be difficult to stop the tour.

"It's going to be hard to quit," he said. "I am so incredibly blessed. I don't want the tour to be about the past. I want it to be part of the future."

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This guy is awesome. He devoted his life to something he believed in. He may be challenged in other ways, but he proved how determintaion can pay off. Mr. Propes, I just want to say God Bless you and all that you do.

-- Posted by BmB420 on Mon, Oct 12, 2009, at 4:11 AM

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