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2016 Tenderness Tour
Propes Offered January 2nd Tenderness Tour in Indy
Propes Offered January 2nd Tenderness Tour in Indy

On January 1, 2016, Joseph Hogsett was sworn in as the 49th Mayor of Indianapolis. On January 2, 2016,  Indianapolis activist Richard Propes sent a hopeful yet clear message to Mayor Hogsett that the time has come for Indianapolis to once again be a safe place for children and families.

In an effort to remind Hogsett of this high calling into which he's been entrusted, Propes wheeled around downtown Indy's Monument Circle 122 times, one time for each child who died as a result of violence from January 1, 2008 - December 31, 2015. Propes, a longtime activist in the areas of child abuse and family violence whose Tenderness Tour has been awarded Prevent Child Abuse America's highest honor, the Donna J. Stone Award, didn't intend this very special Tenderness Tour event to reflective negatively upon the outgoing mayor but instead simply to remind the incoming mayor that there is much work to be done and the lives of Indy's residents depend upon his effectively addressing crime, poverty and other issues impacting Indy's families.

Propes, a paraplegic and double amputee with spina bifida, has a long history of wheeling long distances raising awareness of children's issues and funds on behalf of organizations working to improve the lives of others. Along with his uncompromising social statement, Propes raised  over $3,000 for Indy's Legacy House, an organization that provides support services and counseling to victims and individuals impacted by crime at no cost. Propes has a long history of wheeling in all kinds of weather, though he was grateful that this particular day ended up being cold yet snow free! He wanted Mayor Hogsett to know that if he's willing to wheel an estimated 40 miles on what will likely be a cold winter day, he expects no less dedication in fighting crime from the city's Mayor.

Propes was overjoyed that Mayor Hogsett, who earlier in the day had announced his crime prevention plan for the city, stopped by the 2016 Tenderness Tour in the late afternoon just as Propes was getting interviewed by local station WTHR-13, one of several media outlets that showed up to cover this year's event.

Propes Honors Pulse Victims With 49-Mile Tenderness Tour
Propes Honors Pulse Victims With 49-Mile Tenderness Tour

Like so many across the country, I sat in the comfort of my own home horrified as news of Orlando's mass shooting at The Pulse nightclub unfolded. As someone who has long been involved in violence prevention activities and who once offered a Tenderness Tour in Orlando, I was horrified at the thought of an 49 innocent lives being lost and even more lives severely impacted by the actions of one man. I don't live in Orlando, so giving blood wasn't a reasonable option. I could give to Orlando-based organizations, but I felt like I wanted to do something more tangible for the LGBT community in my own hometown of Indianapolis. It seems like whenever I don't know what to do, a Tenderness Tour became the answer.

On Saturday, June 25th at 8am, I began a one-day, 49-mile wheelchair tour in memory of the 49 Orlando victims whose lives have been lost. Simultaneously, I raised over $4,000 for Indiana Youth Group, a stellar organization that "creates safe spaces, provides wellness programming, and educates LGBTQ youth and the community." I refuse to do nothing.

Details of the day: I left at 8am from the Monon Trail at 62nd Street in Broad Ripple. I will wheel up to 86th Street and return. Generally speaking, 12 blocks is considered a mile. Therefore, each trip will be 2 miles. I will go up and back 13 times or as many times as needed to ensure that every life is remembered.

Additional Events for 2016:

  • June 4, 2016 - As always, I was involved in the Race Away From Domestic Violence, a 5k event with proceeds going to Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. I started this event and it has become a regular 5k event for ICADV. 
    About the Tenderness Tour

    Since 1989, Indianapolis activist Richard Propes has wheeled nearly 5,000 miles raising thousands of dollars in what he calls a grassroots effort to create a kinder, more inspired world through The Tenderness Tour. This is his story.

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