Auto Shop Gives SUV to Man with Spina Bifida

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A camera crew followed 21-year-old Mitch Bohn around on recently. But early on, it was just a cover story. “We told him we were doing a documentary on accessibility in Billings, (Montana),” said Carmen Bohn, Mitch’s mother. By the afternoon, Mitch Bohn was at Christian Brothers Automotive on the West End. Shop owner Tony McCoy began showing him around a 2016 Ford Explorer — casually, as if it just happened to be there. The SUV was there for a reason. “The best feature about that, Mitch, is that it’s yours,” McCoy said. The 2016 Explorer is outfitted with an automatic ramp, seat, door and other features suited for someone who uses a wheelchair. Mitch Bohn, who lives with spina bifida, broke down in tears alongside friends and family. The Billings Christian Brothers branch gave the vehicle to Mitch Bohn as part of its annual day of service. The national auto repair chain chooses one recipient each year, and McCoy had requested Mitch Bohn be the 2016 recipient. Carmen Bohn said her family knew McCoy’s family through baseball. Mitch Bohn’s brother, C.J., plays the sport. Mitch Bohn knew that much, but even with the camera crew on hand, he didn’t suspect the gift. “The only thing I knew was that my mom put in for it,” he said about the possibility of being a day of service recipient. Those around Mitch Bohn, who studies mass communication at Montana State University Billings, said the gift reflects Mitch Bohn’s own kindness. His mom said when Mitch Bohn was eight-years-old, he gave all of his Christmas presents to a Shriners organization. He’s volunteered at St. Vincent Healthcare and worked on political campaigns. “He’s just always been that kid,” Carmen Bohn said. “He always gives back.” Linda Collins, who has been the family’s case manager for 10 years, said Mitch Bohn’s kindness comes from his family. Mitch Bohn was driving the family’s older Chevrolet Lumina, which Carmen Bohn said was outfitted by Christian Brothers. This time, the shop outfitted him with something a little newer. “I honestly had no words,” Mitch Bohn said. “I choked up.”

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