Medina man saves change all year for Red Kettle donation

Posted 11 December 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Peggy Barringer – Robert Guzik, center, fills a Red Kettle with an estimated $200 donation this afternoon. He is joined by Tim Brigham, Tops store manager, and Dar Bowman, the Tops customer service manager.

By Peggy Barringer

MEDINA – Robert (Bobby) Guzik has been saving his change all year to donate to the Red Kettle at Tops in Medina. Guzik, 24, of Medina has been blind since birth. He has made a big donation to the Red Kettle in annual tradition for about five years.

“I want to help people,” Bobby said this afternoon. “I’ve seen people having trouble, and I want to help make some people’s lives easier.”

Bobby came in to make the donation with his sister Lois and his grandmother, Gracie, who is a frequent shopper and well known at Tops. They did not exactly how much was in the small backpack and quart jar filled with coins. Customer service manager, Dar Bowman, estimated there was “about $200.”

Gracie said she was happy her grandson was putting the money in the Red Kettle. She won’t have to count the pennies and put them in sleeves. She said Bobby learned from his grandfather to be kind.

Bobby Guzik gets ready to fill the Red Kettle with some asisstance from Tops store officials.

“I’m glad to be helping people,” Bobby said. “I live the life that I do even though I’m blind.”

Ronnie Barhite is coordinator for the Red Kettle in Medina. Proceeds from the drive go to Community Action programs in Orleans County.

“The money stays in Orleans County and goes to various organizations used to help keep people in their homes, and with food, medicine, and utilities,” Barhite said.

Bobby has lived in Medina all his life and went to public school. He graduated from Medina High School with honors. He went on to graduate from Genesee Community College in 2012, earning two degrees in Computer Support & Operations and Computer Systems and Network Technology. He volunteers at GCC’s radio station, WGCC, helping with “technical stuff.”

He said the radio station received all new equipment last week and he has been helping to set everything up. He also fixes computers. He is currently looking for employment.

Orleans Hub and The Daily News of Batavia were both there when Bobby made his donation today.

“My friends will be happy to see me in the paper,” Bobby said.

A generous Secret Santa sweetened the pot with a $100 bill.