Man turning laps on Monument Circle in memory of children killed by violence

Richard Propes is making 571 laps around Monument Circle in memory of children killed by violence. (WTHR photo)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - If you see Richard Propes wheeling around Monument Circle the next day or two, give him a big thumbs up.

He is in the midst of doing 571 laps, one for each Hoosier child who died from violence since 1989. That's when Propes, a double-amputee who was homeless, without a job and had just lost his wife to suicide, decided to look for hope, healing and goodness through a 41-day, 1,000-mile journey across Indiana.

He found it and so much more.

"I had a backpack on my wheelchair and $20 in my pocket and I never went without a place to stay or food," he said. "I found so much hope and goodness in the state of Indiana and came home convinced there are a lot of good people out there and that I had a responsibility to give that back."

A survivor of child abuse himself, he decided to do something to raise awareness about young victims who've lost their lives through abuse and violence.

"More than anything, I wanted to remember the children who have died. I wanted their families to know their children still matter," he said. "I want people to realize that when we lose a child it does impact the community."

One man in a wheelchair making 571 laps around Monument Circle over several days. Loved hearing Richard Propes story...

Posted by Mary Milz on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

So every year around this time, he makes away around the Circle - unfortunately, an increasing number of times. After each lap, he flips a sign on the back of his wheelchair to reveal the name of another victim, along with when the child died and how old he or she was at the time.

His t-shirt reads, "Not one more."

He knows there will be, but he also wants people to know "they can do something to make their community better. We all have a gift to give...and hopefully that will contribute to breaking the cycle of violence."

This year, Propes hopes to raise $10,000 for ten non-profits. He expects to finish his last lap - Lap 571 - sometime Saturday afternoon.