July Jefferson Award winner: Bob Gwidt - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

July Jefferson Award winner: Bob Gwidt

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WAUSAU (WAOW)-- Every morning 82-year-old Bob Gwidt has the same route.  He travels around the community collecting scrap metal from various homes and businesses; anyone willing to unload.

While most people would do this to make an extra buck, Gwidt has a bigger vision.  All of the money earned goes to the Children's Miracle Network.

"It's to help the kids that have special needs," Gwidt says. "Because they have special needs, the special expenses go with it."

This year he hopes to raise $12,000.

Like clockwork, he drops his items in his own specific bins at Yaeger Auto Salvage in Weston, where they have a running account for "Bob Gwidt's Community Fund."

It may seem like he has a lot of metal collected, but it takes a hefty amount to make a buck.  He estimates about one dollar for every ten pounds collected. 

This isn't the first time the retired school bus driver and former Schofield mayor worked for a good cause.

Bob's son, Paul Gwidt, says in the last decade he estimated his father contributed more than $30,000 to local causes, all through gathering metal.  Paul hopes this serves as an inspiration to the community.

"Sometimes helping people gives you a chance to kind of slow down and see what's important in life," Paul said.

 It's hard work, but Bob says he doesn't mind.

"The end result of what you do, gives you so much enthusiasm to continue the projects. It's not me that's getting the joy... it's the people that all are doing this, and I'm only the gatherer of metal. Financially I'm not rich. But in the heart I'm rich to help others."

Proving one man's trash could be a community's treasure.

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