Johnny “Mr. Penny” Richmond is coming along—“He is alert and oriented. He is in his right mind; he’s really cognitively intact“—but he’s coming along slowly. His rehabilitation from the gunshot head injury he suffered in February 2012 is currently restricted to his home. The occupational therapists say the muscle-bound, perpetually cheery former crossing guard and custodian for Dean Road Elementary could be doing better—maybe even walk again—if he could start out-patient therapy. For that, he would need a wheelchair accessible van.
And his therapists have established a fund to help raise the $6,700 needed to buy one.
“This would be a great thing for Johnny and his family in so many ways,” East Alabama Medical Center’s Jamie Hartford told the OA-News. “I’m hoping people will be willing to help him out with it.”
You can donate at any Auburn Bank location or by mailing a check made out to “Mr. Penny Van Fund” to Auburn Bank (Attention Moriah Taylor) 100 N. Gay Street, Auburn, AL 36830.
It isn’t the first time the community has rallied to Mr. Penny’s side.
In late 2010, a Facebook fundraiser started by two mothers of Dean Road Elementary students raised enough money to send the Auburn football fanatic—the point-driven push-up routine he used to perform at home games effectively made him an unofficial AU mascot—and his wife Lula to Glendale, Ariz. to see Auburn win the national championship in person. There was money left over to buy a Nikon CoolPix digital camera for him to document his trip, which he did. He took photos with the camera. Other people took photos with the camera. When Mr. Penny returned home, he gave the camera to Ana Harris, who helped organize the trip. She shared the photos with TWER. We’re sharing with them you, all 136 of them. Click to enlarge. Click again to enlarge some more. If you see yourself in one of the photos and want a hi-res version just let us know.
Click here for an awesome video (watch to the end) of Mr. Penny leading a pep rally at Dean Road before leaving for Glendale. And here’s our video interview with Mr. Penny—filmed while he was directing traffic—after he returned.
Related: Mr. Penny prophesies in Glendale.
* Auburn fans light up Portland bridge in orange and blue
* Hero of Flight 29 leads ‘War Eagle’ in Scottsdale riding mechanical bull
* Erin Andrews at Toomer’s Corner
* Was Walt Disney an Auburn fan?
* Auburn’s Miss Universe contestant, Audrey Moore
* Auburn amputee has tiger-striped prosthetic legs
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HA! One of my best friends is in one of these photos with Mr. Penny. Awesome!