LAKEWOOD — Bob Votruba and his rescue boxer Bogart are kind of a big deal.
They travel to our little corners of the country in their “A Million Acts of Kindness” bus, challenging all of us to simply be kind.
“One guy and a dog and a bike in a bus just trying to make a little bit of a difference and I know it is, which is so cool to me and so much fun,” Votruba says.
It’s what Bob, who is originally from Parma, has done for 11 years now.
A map on the bus is peppered with pins to show the places that presumably are little kinder now for having Bob and Bogart pass through.
“There are a lot of individuals carrying hurt inside and I’m trying to reach them," he says.
The message for the masses? Simple.
“Just do one more act of kindness each day. It’s kindness as a goal,” says the man behind the wheel of 'A Million Acts of Kindness' bus.
On Friday morning Bob’s random act of kindness will be a tradition he’s been doing for years.
This time he’ll ride 10 hours on his bike in Twinsburg's Josh Miktarian Memorial Parkway and end up back at the memorial for an 8 p.m. ceremony to honor Officer Miktarian on the day he was shot and killed 10 years ago.
“It’s just about remembering to honor and to not forget,” says Votruba.
It was July 13th, 2008 when Officer Josh Miktarian went to work and didn’t come home. Gunned down in a traffic stop, he was the first officer in 56 years to die in the line of duty in Twinsburg.
“Thea thought her dad was going to be forgotten and we as a community cannot let that happen. That girl who was 2 1/2 months old when her dad was taken from her life and now she is 10 years and 2 1/2 months old. And we are still honoring her dad.
Thea and Josh’s wife Holly will be at Friday’s memorial.
They will stand with others who will say simply by their presence, “We will never forget.”
It’s the kind of act of kindness Bob says he will be stumping for until his last breath.
This guy. And his dog. And a bus.
“This is the rest of my life. There is no way to quit this. It has filled every cell of my body. I love this,” Bob says with a smile that comes when you’re well on your way to A Million Acts of Kindness.