Christ cross

Triple amputee distance cyclist to speak at Youth for Christ banquet – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – The Grand Forks Area Youth for Christ is hosting a fundraising banquet titled “Be The Story,” which will feature guest speaker Bob Mortimer, a triple amputee and cross-country cyclist.

Funds raised at this event will be used to support the ongoing ministry of the local YPC organization.

There is no charge to attend the banquet; a voluntary offering will be collected. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 28 at the Alerus Center. For more information, contact the YFC at (701) 203-1928 or email Sean Patterson, Executive Director of Grand Forks Area YFC, To register online, visit

The event aims to raise awareness of how the YFC is reaching and changing the lives of young people, Patterson said.

Mortimer, a Christian evangelist and motivational speaker from Gig Harbor, Washington, is known to have cycled across the United States twice. He was scheduled to speak at Grand Forks Area YFC’s annual fundraising banquet in the spring of 2020, but that event and the 2021 banquet were canceled due to the pandemic.

When Mortimer was 21, he was on his way home after “bruising” when the car he was in knocked over a power pole. He walked away from the car and towards the downed power lines. The electrocution resulted in the loss of both of his legs and his left arm.

A few years later, he pledged to stay drug-free and was soon invited to share his experience in schools, prisons and community gatherings across the United States.

No one comes out of drug use unscathed, he said. “I’m not glorifying my past involvement with drugs, but I’m proud of my decision to be drug free.”

Bob Mortimer, who will be the keynote speaker at the Youth for Christ fundraising banquet on Monday, March 28 at the Alerus Center, tells his audience that “the only handicaps we have are those we impose on ourselves – handicaps that prevent us from to be our best: attitudes, low self-esteem, prejudice, and the use of alcohol and drugs.


Mortimer’s story is a message of hope and courage, Patterson said. The speaker focuses on the theme “Doing our best”, with the aim of reaching out to individuals and families damaged by the consumption of alcohol and drugs. In his interviews with viewers of all ages, he offers encouragement to those struggling to overcome life’s challenges.

Grand Forks Area YFC volunteers and staff participate in several activities aimed at reaching and supporting youth. They work with young people who are in “difficult situations” at the local juvenile detention center, Patterson said.

They also sponsor a Campus Life Club for students enrolled in Grand Forks Central, Red River, Community, East Grand Forks, and Thompson High Schools, as well as homeschooled students. The club meets from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays at the former cafe The Ember at 8 N. Third St.

“We believe this club is a great opportunity for us to hang out, share life, and be in ongoing dialogue with students about issues, challenges, and truth,” Patterson said.

YFC volunteers and staff interact with students aged 11 to 13 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at their colleges, he said. “It’s a high-energy, fun, and impactful moment where students are introduced to Jesus and how it affects their lives.”

The organization is looking for more volunteers “who would like to make a difference in their lives and are ready to have their own life-changing experience,” Patterson said.