Donations Needed to Fund the Ramp Built for a Man who Brought Joy to Minnesota Through the Local Legend of Paul Bunyan and his Stories
Richard, a 75 year old resident of Burnsville, has shared his gift of storytelling to bring joy to the community. Now, the community has a chance to give back to Richard. Rebuilding Together Twin Cities is asking for donations to pay for Paul Bunyan’s ramp.
Over the years, many Minnesotans have stepped into the enormous shoes of Paul Bunyan – Minnesota’s largest legend. Some were born with a love for the character, while others have had it thrust upon them. Richard falls into the latter category, only discovering his passion for the legend after a former employer forced him to compete in a local Paul Bunyan look-alike contest. Much to his surprise he won, and ever since, Richard has embraced his role and found a love and passion for the local giant. Dressing in the well-known flannel shirt, overall, boots, and carrying a handmade ax, Richard drew upon his experience as a traveling pastor to entertain and inspire the imagination of both young and old through the legends of Paul Bunyan. Many newspapers, magazines, and other publications highlighted the work of Richard, spreading his story and affinity for the legendary lumberjack. In addition to his gift for storytelling, Richard’s passion for the folk hero is evident in his personal collection of Paul Bunyan memorabilia and books, which are displayed prominently in his home.
After many years of sharing stories and spreading joy, Richard now needs support in return. Though he lives alone, Richard enjoys the independence he has caring for himself in his mobile home. After recently suffering a stroke, Richard now experiences mobility issues and aphasia; additional challenges to his already bad knees and hips. These obstacles now make it painful for Richard to navigate his front steps, making entering and exiting his home difficult and dangerous which has prevented Richard from doing the things that he loves.
With the spirit of Paul Bunyan, Richard maintains his determination and optimism about life, and wishes to remain independent as long as possible. In order to help Richard with this dream, Rebuilding Together Twin Cities constructed a ramp leading to his front door. This ramp will enable Richard to recover from his upcoming hip and knee surgery at home while avoiding the expensive recuperation in a rehabilitation facility. With an impending surgery, the need for improvements to the front entrance was immediate. As such, several volunteers organized by Rebuilding Together Twin Cities came together to help build the ramp for Richard. Rebuilding Together Twin Cities is now asking for donations to cover the costs of the project.
Rebuilding Together Twin Cities is hoping to raise $1,800 by August 1st in order to pay for Paul Bunyan’s ramp. Please click here to donate to help Richard!