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Positively LEX 18: Generous donor helps kids find their wings

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Posted at 2:37 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 18:25:28-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you ask Thomas Conner, he will tell you he is just an average guy, but the 83-year-old is setting quite an example.

"I like to do something nice and be an asset to the community, " Conner said.

Planes and aviation have long been a big part of his life.

Conner said, "I was in the Air Force for four years from '55 to'59."

He then worked for North American Aviation in Columbus, Ohio, and for about the past 30 years he has been on security guard duty. As he continues to work at the ripe old age of 83, after raising two children of his own, he is not keeping all the money for himself, he has started giving it away.

"I'm not the biggest loser in town you know, " Conner laughed.

Since 2009, Conner has been giving money to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky to sponsor kids for their camp. In all, he's donated more than $13,000 sponsoring nearly 60 kids. He is the all-time museum leader in donations to sponsor aviation camp students.

Conner said, "These kids are on their way to start with, and we give them a little encouragement at a critical time and get out of their way."

Aside from thank you letters, he has never had any interaction with the kids, but the museum hopes to change that just so he can see the impact he has been making in their lives.

"He's exceptional. It's rare to find an individual who is as focused as he is. His real interest is to get students here to have the experience they otherwise would not have, " said Ed Murphy, the Vice President for Education at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky.

Of course, if you ask Mr. Conner, like so many who do selfless good deeds, he does not see what he does as anything special.

Conner said, "I'm just another average guy...but really, I'm what the average guy should be. Just being a security guard doesn't mean you can't do something nice."

Raising the bar for all the other average guys out there.