A day of giving

Minot’s Bob Gross to give away backpacks in honor of his late nephew

Ashton Gerard/MDN Local children, Ellie Anderson (2-years-old), Rory Henjum (1), Joslyn Gerard (6) and Laila Anderson (5), pose with backpacks from Bob Gross Monday.

After a two year hiatus, Minot’s Bob Gross is back to give away backpacks to area children in honor of his late nephew DaySun Gross. The event, aptly named DaySun’s Day of Giving, will be held Friday at the DaySun Gross memorial bench at Minot’s Roosevelt Park. DaySun was killed in a single vehicle accident involving a drunk driver near the park in 2002.

Bob Gross, a painter and handyman by trade, takes time almost every year to give something back in DaySun’s name.

“I’ve been doing (DaySun’s Day of Giving) for 13 years now,” Gross reflected. “I skipped two (years) because it got spendy… I just want to give back to people. We need a heart to live and a heart to give.”

Though putting together the event can be somewhat of a scramble, it’s something Gross enjoys and is glad he can bring it back to Minot this year, though on a smaller scale.

In the past, Gross would give away bicycles, winter coats and school supplies, but this year Gross is sticking to backpacks. The cost became too much for Gross but he’s glad he can still do something for area children.

Ashton Gerard/MDN The DaySun Gross memorial bench is shown at Minot’s Roosevelt Park Tuesday. The bench will be the location of the backpack giveaway Friday starting at 6:30 p.m.

“I gave some to the school already and some to Fill the Bus,” Gross said. He gave 300 backpacks to the Fill the Bus campaign which gives school supplies to area children in need.

“I give to everyone,” Gross said. “They’re all children. There’s a need, trust me. So many of the mothers and dads they cry and they’re really happy.”

In his 13th year, Gross doesn’t want recognition. He just wants the public to know that the event is happening and backpacks are available to anyone.

“I don’t need a pat on the back, I just love giving,” Gross said.

This year, Gross received help from Farm Credit Services and Hershfield’s Paint and Coating to get the backpacks, while the Commission on Aging gave Gross a place to store the backpacks until the event.

Along with the backpacks, there will be live music provided by Daniel Starks, face painting by Once Upon a Party and hot dogs will be provided for families that attend. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at Roosevelt Park Friday.

“My nephew was such a beautiful giver,” Gross recalled. “We all have to give.”