Community Gem: David Nugent puts smiles on kids’ faces and ‘that’s enough for me’

David Nugent of Brookville is a Community Gem for refurbishing bicycles and giving the away. CONTRIBUTED/DAVID NUGENT
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David Nugent of Brookville is a Community Gem for refurbishing bicycles and giving the away. CONTRIBUTED/DAVID NUGENT

Retiree David Nugent says he does “whatever” but his hobby of refurbishing bicycles for children is known throughout the Brookville community.

Nugent, who turns 78 in September, was nominated as a Community Gem by Jenni Phillips who said he has given away more than 3,000 bikes over the past several years.

“He has been gathering bikes and refurbishing them and hosts giveaways every few months,” Phillips said. “He then refurbs some bikes and sells them to get funds to pay to fix the bikes.”

Nugent said he started fixing bikes as a hobby about five years ago when a local minister suggested fixing the bikes and giving them away to kids. He said he recently went through 150 bikes that he had fixed and some people came from other communities to pick up a bicycle. Nugent said he works on the bicycles at his home in his spare time.

He said he enjoys helping foster kids and lets them pick out their own bike to keep. Nugent also said he is working on a number of bikes to give away at Christmas, something that keeps him busy during the summer.

“I just do it to make kids happy,” he said. “I enjoy doing it. I hope it helps someone out.”

Recently he had 75 bikes out in his front yard and they were all gone in a short amount of time.

“I feel bad when we run out,” he said.

Nugent works in the grocery business at the Brookville IGA. He said he is constantly looking for bicycles in need of some work and a new home. He said he picks up old bikes from the trash, Goodwill, garage sales or what might get dropped off by neighbors at his home.

He has travelled to Toledo to purchase old bikes to fix. If its not worth fixing, he’ll use the parts on other bicycles he’s working on. With some bigger, more expensive bikes, Nugent said he’ll sell them to raise cash to buy parts such as tubes, tires, brakes, etc.

“When I pass away, I hope someone remembers that an old man gave them a bicycle,” Nugent said. “I enjoy doing it. If you can see smiles on kids faces, that’s enough for me.”