Retired teacher pays it forward

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BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Nearly 30 years ago, Bob Perry began baking homemade bread as a hobby after retiring from his teaching career. Now, at 68 years old he's given away more than 24,678 loaves of bread.

"I like to share and it's a long lost art. Making bread and when people tell me ‘oh it reminded me of my Mother's or my Grandmother's.’ That is rewarding itself. Sometimes I get just as much pleasure giving bread as they do receiving it."

Bob says his bread making is a long 4 hour process from start to finish but well worth the time he spends. He says last month, he baked and gave away more than 300 loaves of bread.

Monday morning, Bob handed out loaves of his bread at the Lunda Community Center in Black River Falls.

"I'm going to quit making bread when I run out of people to give it to," he says. For Perry, bread making is a family tradition. "My mother, when I was growing up, I helped her and then my dad took it up at 62 years-old and my parents lived down here. My Dad was Mayor for 22 years.”

Friends say they're touched by Bob's caring heart. “There's a lot of good people in this country and its very heart- warming to see somebody like Bob who takes his time to do this and really cares about his community," says Carl Holmquist.

Bob says he feels blessed to be able to put smiles on the faces of strangers and make a difference in his community. He hopes to hand out his 25,000th loaf of bread by the end of the year.

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