Every Thanksgiving season since 2006, D.J. Dave Jickster of 97 Rock has camped out in a tractor-trailer for a week to collect turkey, food donations and money to help feed the hungry.
This year, a turkey of a different feather made an appearance.
Sometime Sunday evening – while the D.J. and crew from the Food Bank of WNY were busy collecting donations from the public for “Operation: Rock Out” outside the Quaker Steak & Lube on Transit Road in Lancaster – someone stole Jickster’s brand new bike.
“It just disappeared,” Jickster told The Buffalo News Monday.
Jickster had brought the bike, a $600 smoky black GT Transeo 3.0, along with a workout bench to the trailer where he spends the whole week before Thanksgiving, even sleeping overnight in a recliner inside the trailer.
During previous stints in the trailer, he ended up putting on a few extra pounds. “People bring me food,” he explained.
This year, he thought he’d get in a little exercise when things were quiet at the trailer.
“During downtime,” he said, “… I would do a couple laps around the parking lot.”
Jickster said he would leave the bike outside the trailer during the day but bring it in at night.
Sunday night about 10:45 p.m., he went to go get his bike and realized it was gone.
“Well, I was shocked at first,” he said. “Why would someone do that? Then some anger set in.”
Then, he blamed himself for leaving it unchained. He reported the bike stolen to Lancaster police Monday morning.
Capt. Marco Laurienzo said the police department deals with a fair share of bicycle thefts every year.
Still, he said, it was unfortunate.
“The guy is over there doing a little volunteer work. It’s too bad,” he said.
The staff at the Food Bank were saddened by the turn of events.
“We’re just heartbroken for him because he does so much for us at the Food Bank,” said spokesman Mike Billoni.
During the last six Rock Out drives, Jickster has helped collect nearly 7,000 frozen turkeys, more than 61,000 pounds of other food and $45,894 in cash.
While disappointed, Jickster said he’s not giving up on the food drive, which continues until Wednesday morning.
“I’m hoping something good comes out of this,” he said.
It did. BlueCross Blue Shield of WNY got word of the bike incident and on Monday afternoon, they delivered a new mountain bike to the D.J.
“One good deed deserves another,” said spokesman John Pitts.
Operation: Rock Out is collecting donations in front of Quaker Steak & Lube Restaurant, 6727 Transit Road through 10 a.m. Wednesday.