Konkle walking with a purpose


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera Ranchos resident Alec Konkle a.k.a “Hat Boy” can be seen waving to motorist along Avenue 12. Konkle is running for Honorary Mayor of the Madera Ranchos and is raising donations for Liberty High School’s marching band.

 

If anyone has ever driven on Avenue 12 in the Madera Ranchos, chances are that they have seen a young man with his bright smile, waving at them as they drive by. Most drivers return the smile and wave back at him.


Alec Michael-Warren Konkle walks approximately 8-10 miles a day on the streets of Madera Ranchos and waves to travelers driving down Avenue 12.


He has done this for the past 15 years. He is known to the residents as “Hat Boy,” because he always wears a hat. Konkle has lived with his grandmother in the Ranchos since 1987. He has autism, and a hypothalamic hamartoma — a benign brain tumor with seizures.


At 32, Konkle has chosen to throw his hat into the ring to become “Honorary Mayor” of Madera Ranchos, and to take part in this year’s annual Flatlander’s Parade, which will be held in May.


Most importantly, Konkle wants to give back to the community.


He ran track at Liberty High School and graduated with a certificate of completion in 2008, despite his challenges. He is raising money for the Liberty High School Marching Band and the Madera Ranchos Chamber of Commerce with 75 percent of the donations to support the marching band, with the other 25 percent going to support the local chamber.


“He’s such a wonderful person,” Madera Ranchos resident Heather Palmer said. “He truly gets joy from putting a smile on people’s faces. He walks with a purpose.”


Konkle enjoys church, country and western music, his collection of DVD movies, and eating lunch at Simply Scrumptious.


“If I’m elected honorary mayor, I will walk miles to give you more waves and smiles. I would appreciate your vote,” Konkle said.

Various businesses have placed donation canisters in the Madera Ranchos and Riverstone areas.


Donations can be made by cash, check or Venmo. Make checks payable to Liberty Music Boosters, Inc., c/o Julie Pittenger 35525 Ave 13 1/2 Madera, Ca 93636. Venmo donations go to @LibertyMusicBoosters-Inc. Indicate your donation as “Honorary Mayor Candidacy.” The deadline for donations is May 4.