A 75-year-old South Hall man was surprised Wednesday, Aug. 5, with a new motorized scooter, a week after someone stole the one he had – his only means of transportation – while he was inside a Flowery Branch pharmacy.
“This thing is awesome,” Roy Foster said while admiring the Yamaha Zuma at Gainesville Motorsports, 2750 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville. “It’s good-looking, too.”
“I think you’re going to enjoy it,” said Anthony Carruth of the business, as we he showed Foster some of the scooter’s features.
Foster was brought to the business by Flowery Branch Police Cpl. Bret Sweeney, capping a GoFundMe fundraiser that paid for the bike.
Chief David Spillers said such acts of kindness are common in the city.
“There’s a tendency for people to rally together to support someone who’s worthwhile supporting, whether it be food, shelter, whatever the case may be,” he said. “This type of thing is the most satisfying thing that we do as a police organization."
Foster told The Times in an interview at his Frazer Road home that he rode to Citizens Pharmacy at 5325 Atlanta Highway in Flowery Branch to pick up prescriptions. When he left the store, the scooter, which he bought in 2019 for about $1,000, was gone.
He said he called a friend to pick him up, and together they drove around town for about 30 minutes looking for his scooter.
Word spread about Foster’s misfortune, fueled by a flyer produced by the friend that shows pictures of the bespectacled Foster and his old scooter.
“Roy’s only way to get around – GONE,” the flyer says. “Fixed income, can’t buy another one.”
Foster also is recovering from two surgeries, he said.
After hearing about the theft, Ryan Dexter, a former Flowery Branch employee, organized the GoFundMe fundraiser.
“Some lowlife stole this man's only transportation,” the GoFundMe page says. “This is how he got around to get medication and food. Let's come together as a community and help Mr. Roy get a new way to get around. He is a really nice man who wears his heart on his sleeve.”
Some $3,225 had been raised as of Wednesday afternoon. That amount was expected to more than cover the cost of the new scooter, with the rest of the money going for other needs, including gas and grocery store gift cards. Gainesville Motorsports donated a helmet.
When Spillers handed Foster the gift cards, Foster said, “Praise the Lord.”
For his part, Foster was upbeat despite his circumstances.
“I’ve had some hard times, but I’m going to make it," he said.
As for the crime, Spillers said police are still investigating.