Buckner volunteer and former Children's Home resident recognized as finalist in The Dallas Foundation's "Good Works Under 40"
This biker isn’t bad to the bone – far from it. For the last two years, John Porter has poured his time and energy into making the annual Back to School Bash special for Buckner kids, earning himself a spot as a finalist for The Dallas Foundation’s “Good Works Under 40” awards this year.
His involvement with Buckner is personal; Porter lived at Buckner Children’s Home in Dallas from age 10 to 16. In April 2011, he came to Buckner to say he wanted to give back to the organization that helped raise him.
“John takes on all the details of the Back to School Bash for 130 children,” said Lindsay Miller, volunteer engagement coordinator for Buckner in Dallas-Fort Worth. “He and his group not only throw an event that the kids remember, all his hard work also gives our staff more time to work with these children on their academic and therapeutic needs. His contribution to our community centers programming is invaluable.”
Porter recruited the help of his motorcycle club, the Wolverines, and they spent the next four months planning the event. In August 2011, they gave monogrammed backpacks to more than 90 children in Buckner programs. When Porter saw the kids’ faces light up, he knew he could make the event even better in 2012.
He spent more than 100 hours planning the 2012 bash, and his hard work showed. It was a major blowout, from slip-and-slides and snow cones to bounce houses and barbecue.
The 2012 Back to School Bash served 130 children, including kids from all three Buckner community centers and kids living at Buckner Family Pathways, a program for single-parent families.
This year, Porter asked the Christian Motorcycle Association to join the Wolverines as volunteers at the event. More than 60 motorcyclists came to play with the children, get dunked in the dunk tank and help distribute backpacks and school supplies.
“None of this would have been possible in 2011 without Porter, his childhood story at Buckner and his passion for at-risk children,” Miller said. “He created what we hope will be a long-lasting tradition in the motorcycle community.”
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