Community rallies around West Fargo bicycle shop's owner
WEST FARGO - Keith Schoon doesn't have to worry anymore. He'll get his fence. Thanks to an outpouring of support Tuesday, the 66-year-old retiree will soon have the enclosure city officials say he needs to continue operating his home bicycle repa...
WEST FARGO - Keith Schoon doesn't have to worry anymore.
He'll get his fence.
Thanks to an outpouring of support Tuesday, the 66-year-old retiree will soon have the enclosure city officials say he needs to continue operating his home bicycle repair shop.
Schoon has become a well-known fixture in West Fargo since he started Keith's Bicycle Repair out of his home garage three years ago.
Since then, the bicycle enthusiast has fixed hundreds of bikes - donating most to local children free of charge and sending others overseas to help people in Kenya.
West Fargo officials praise Schoon's work as a service to the community, but they say the 150 or so bikes Schoon stores on his lawn and driveway violate ordinances that govern home businesses.
City leaders said Schoon could easily remedy the problem if he put up a fence to hide his collection from public view.
After the city cracked down for the second time in as many years, Schoon has recently been trying to raise the $3,000 he would need for a fence.
After little wait, Schoon got his wish Tuesday.
The same day a Forum article featured Schoon's situation, residents and businesses throughout the community offered more than enough support to meet the cost of building and installing the fence.
Schoon said the community response has been "unbelievable," and he repeatedly expressed gratitude at the generosity shown by local businesses, neighbors and residents.
"I appreciate this so very much," Schoon said. "You don't know how much it means to me to have all the support everyone is giving me."
Newman Fence offered to donate all the materials needed for the 106-foot-long, 6-foot-high structure.
Schoon's friend Brad Conway, a contractor with BWC Solutions, had previously volunteered to install the fence for free.
So, once Newman provides the materials, Conway said it should take less than a week to construct the fence.
"It's just phenomenal what he does for the community," Conway said during an interview Tuesday on WDAY AM-970's "Jay Thomas Show."
"If we can just do a tenth of what he does, it's going to make a huge difference," Conway said. "You can just see the compassion and how much he cares for these kids."
State Bank & Trust officials said Tuesday they'll also donate funds to pay for extra tools, supplies and bike racks so Schoon can keep running his shop.
Brian Haugen, manager of the bank's southwest Fargo location, said Schoon's service stood out as a prime candidate for the bank's "Pay It Forward" program.
"We want to make sure Keith is able to keep doing what he's doing to support the community," said Haugen, who also appeared on the radio show.
Keith's Bicycle Repair
- Locations: 402 2nd St. E., West Fargo
- Ownership: Keith Schoon
- Contact: (701) 799-9783
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541