JJ West’s Grandson Honored at State House for Benefit Bike Ride
Matthew Gross is a pretty special young man, riding his bicycle 25 miles each year, in order to raise money for the Bangor Humane Society. And last week, he received special recognition by the House of Representatives for his contributions. Way to go, Matt!
Brewer Representative Archie Verow put it all together in Augusta. Matt and his family went to Augusta on March 19th to be recognized. When he was introduced, the entire House of Representatives stood up and applauded for this amazing young man.
He's also the grandson of Gene Hardin, who was known on Townsquare Media stations as JJ West. Last summer, I talked to Gene about Matt, and watched his eyes light up. He very quickly explained to me that it was 'all-Matty.' Totally Matt's idea to do the ride and raise the money. A proud Grampy, for sure!
Matt's Dad, Jason says his son never set out for any fame. He just decided a few years ago that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of shelter animals, after his family adopted a mature dog. Jason said on the 'Ride for the Wet Nose' Facebook page, "He is a machine.When he sets his mind to something he just gets the job done. We are so proud of him."
It's a family affair, with Jason helping his son organize, do the publicity, and solicit donations. Mom Jaime and his sister Sarah also put in their time, helping in any way they can. It's a group effort to make the 'Ride for the Wet Nose' a success.
I spoke with Matt last year, when he told me that he heard about someone raising money to help a shelter, and decided he wanted to do it too. When the bike ride idea came to him, he said he wrote it on a piece of paper and gave it to his Dad. And the 'Ride for the Wet Nose' was born. Each year, Matt rides 25 miles through Brewer, Holden, and Orrington after soliciting donations.If you'd like to contribute, contact Matt's Dad, Jason through the Ride for the Wet Nose Facebook page.