This is not an exclamation of disdain nor is it reaction to an unwanted surprise or comment from an antagonistic foe.
Rather, it is a tribute.
To a vision.
And a visionary.
In this case, a rather young visionary.
He is Clay Black, the 10-year-old son of Scott and Sara Black of Cleveland. Clay is not unlike most boys his age. He enjoys hanging out with friends, pleasing his parents and biking.
Especially the biking.
He also likes helping others. So he came up with a brainstorm — help others and do it with his bike. And encourage his friends to come along for the ride.
You might have read about this civic-minded youngster in our newspaper recently. Banner staff writer Joyanna Weber talked with him at length about his plan.
According to his mom, Clay is renowned inside — and outside — his 10-year-old circle for cooking up ideas and projects. Like good parents do, Sara and Scott always try to be supportive. When their son came up with his latest vision, they knew they had to get involved, to help with the planning and to assist their son every way imaginable to see it through.
It seems Clay was inspired by a Bible study — perhaps one that focused on the ideals, and the human mandate, of helping others by improving their lives.
So Clay decided he wanted to help fund the digging of wells. He targeted World Vision, an internationally acclaimed organization that develops the lifesaving modernism in countries around the globe, many of which are in impoverished Third World lands where people die daily from starvation and disease is rampant from the drinking of unclean bacteria-contaminated water.
Traditional wells cost about $2,600 each.
Clay’s goal was to raise funds for at least two.
In these countries, a well can support as many as 150 people. Perhaps more.
With his parent’s help, Clay set his plans in motion. He organized a bike-a-thon for the young (ages 2 through 16) and the young-at-heart (parents), and he scheduled it for one of Cleveland’s most beautiful, best kept recreational secrets — Fletcher Park off Tennessee Nursery Road.
He identified a half-mile course and riders raised sponsorships for each successfully pedaled lap. Participants were allowed to ride anything with wheels.
He named the fundraiser “Wheels 4 Wells.”
Clay and his planning team marketed the nonprofit cause with a booth at some home-school events and neighborhood flyers.
On the day of the big ride, Clay did what leaders do. He served as a role model.
The youngster pedaled 21 laps in the three-hour event that stretched from 9 a.m. to noon. About 15 children — including many of his buddies — participated in the inspiring initiative.
By the bike-a-thon’s close, Clay and his little army in motion had collected about $2,000. The figure is expected to bounce up to $3,000 once all pledges have been received. Not a bad haul for the inaugural people-friendly spin.
Planning is already under way for next year.
Clay offered us his common-sense take on the experience. “I think the best part about it was having the joy of doing it, and seeing that the kids didn’t really mind that it was tiring ... they just liked biking.”
We adore the young man’s spirit.
We encourage others to join his heartfelt forage for benevolence.
We suggest those searching for a cause to be like bike.
And follow Clay’s lead.
If you’d like additional information or to learn more about World Vision or the Clean Water Fund, you may visit www.firstgiving.com/wheels4wells.