Steven Powell’s Tri-rider was stolen from his apartment complex. (Special to The News)

Steven Powell’s Tri-rider was stolen from his apartment complex. (Special to The News)

Community rallies to replace disabled man’s stolen trike

Steven Powell’s work mates are raising funds to purchase him a new set of wheels

Staff and store owners at Valley Fair Mall in Maple Ridge have stepped up to help one of the shopping centre’s most-loved employees.

Steven Powell, who is a day porter in the mall, had his three-wheel bike stolen from the apartment complex he lives in two weeks ago.

Many who live downtown have probably seen Powell commuting back and forth on the unique set of wheels.

The 44-year-old suffered a brain injury when he was quite young, and has limited vision as a result. He had been depending on the trike since 2017 when he started work at the mall.

It was his only means of transportation.

Shopping centre manager Nicole Archer said he was devastated when it was stolen.

“He has had to rely on taxis and rides from his mom to get back-and-forth from work,” she said.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge cat shelter turns 20

The administration at the mall sent a memo to all the tenants of the shopping centre saying they wanted to give Powell a helping hand.

“Since then, we have had an outpouring of support for Steven with people donating to help purchase a new-and-improved trike,’ Archer said.

“Messages of praise, gratitude and love for him have been flowing in ever since.

“They all appreciate his personality and what he brings to his environment.”

Powell is a valued employee at the mall, but has been really instrumental during the last year.

“He wipes everything down, cleans the bathrooms and all the furniture in the mall, as well as the floors,” Archer said.

“So he has been essential for keeping things safe during COVID.”

So far, the tenants of the mall have raised $1,100 to replace the bike. Archer said they are hoping to purchase an upgraded model with an electrical assist to make the ride in a little easier.

Powell said he is blown away by the response.

“I never expected any of this,” he exclaimed.

“It’s really top shelf.”

When he told his mother about the support, he said she began to get emotional.

“This is happiness,” Powell said. “It doesn’t get much better than this.”

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Steven Powell is extremely grateful for the help staff and store owners at Valley Fair Mall have provided. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)

Steven Powell is extremely grateful for the help staff and store owners at Valley Fair Mall have provided. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)

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