WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - Roby Christie has been named a Legend of North Texas by the Museum of North Texas. He is the founder of the Hotter’N Hell steering committee.
“Wichita Falls has given me the opportunity to add value to the place I live. There's so many people in Texoma that do a lot for Wichita Falls, do a lot for their fellow citizens. If I can rank among them I appreciate the recognition,” Christie said of the honor.
The ever humble Roby Christie is the 4th person ever to be honored as a Legend of North Texas and board members with the Museum of North Texas say it took some convincing to even get him to accept the award.
Board Member Kenny Mayo said, “He is truly a citizen servant of the community that gives back to the community more than he takes.”
Former HHH steering committee members, Jo-Alice and Mark Davis, said, “He’s so energetic and he always has the idea and he can get people to follow him. We helped along the way and we do anything we can.”
36 years later, every year thousands of cyclists come to Wichita Falls to participate in the hundred mile ride that was created to celebrate the centennial year of the city.
Even though Christie is known as the founder what has become a huge event – true to his humble spirit – credits his friend for the name of the event.
Christie recalls the story, “I said well it's got to be in August because it's got to happen a few weeks ahead of the centennial. Mark Davis was the says ‘Well it's gonna be hotter than hell’!” While the bicycle ride has become a yearly celebration for the community – it has not always been so for the Christie family.
12 years ago, tragedy struck. “My son and his entire family were flying to Kentucky and they perished in a plane crash…I got a call, late in the evening the day after Hotter’N Hell,” He said.
It was the community that came together to give something back to the Christies.
The next year, the 2007 class of Leadership Wichita Falls created horse statues and placed it in front of Guarantee Title, which his son Jason used to own.
Each butterfly on the horse represents a member of their family.
Even in midst of tragedy Roby said the support he has received from the community is the silver lining.