Brawley Residents Come Together to Give Back to One of Their Own

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Eddie
Eddie Sanchez and Lupe Navarro display the new bike

BRAWLEY, CA – Representing the small-town closeness Brawley is so proud of, some locals recently gathered donations to replace the stolen bicycle of long-time city employee Eddie Sanchez.

Employed by the City of Brawley Parks and Recreation Department for over 25 years, nearly everyone in Brawley knows Sanchez, whether they’ve see him landscaping one of the many city parks, or through his 29 years of coaching in the Brawley’s Little League program. He also umpired Little League for 35 years and was instrumental in founding the Gladiators, a wrestling program for kids.

With a heart for helping others, Sanchez has given much of his time to the people of Brawley, but due to a medical issue, he rides a bicycle instead of driving a car.

Sadly, his bike, his only form of transportation, was stolen at a local restaurant last month. Since the theft, Sanchez has resorted to walking everywhere while he saved to buy a new bike.

Recently, fellow Brawley resident Lupe Navarro spotted Sanchez walking and offered him a ride, like many times before.

“I’ve known Eddie since we were about 12 years old and we grew up in the same neighborhood,” said Navarro. “Eddie was always on a bike because of a medical issue. If he wasn’t on his bike, you knew something was wrong. I will always offer him a ride if he’s walking. This last time, I asked him where his bike was. I had not asked him other times. He told me it
had been stolen,” explained Navarro.

“I started thinking, ‘what could I do to help him?’ I got on Facebook and asked friends for donations to help buy Eddie a new bike. The response was overwhelming,” Navarro said. “I didn’t want to tell him until there were enough donations to buy a nice bike. I went to his house and asked him if he had got a bike yet. He said no. I told him not to because some of our friends want to buy him a new bike.”

So Navarro took him to the bike shop and they ordered a bike sized especially for Sanchez. The bike has a maximum security lock.

“After I posted the request on Facebook,” said Navarro, “people would come up to me, give me some money, and say ‘Eddie coached me in little league 20 years ago. This is for his new bike and tell him thanks for coaching me.’ He has contributed so much to the community and people have never forgotten him.”

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