Some faith in humanity has been restored after a 16-year-old boy unselfishly gave $600 to the Hooterville Hilton Café after funds collected to help rebuild the Leslieville Elks Hall were stolen.
Café owners Jennifer Heyland and Theresa Jamieson had been organizing a benefit and silent auction to raise money for a new facility. But they discovered Saturday morning that the money already in hand had been stolen during a break-in.
“We had a few cash donations at that point and then ticket sales, so it was right around 600 dollars of the Elks money that was gone. Then we lost 300 dollars and something in a till of our own,” said Jamieson.
The hall was destroyed by fire on Dec. 29 and RCMP are investigating the blaze as arson. Police say they still have a person of interest, but no charges have yet been laid.
“We were really disheartened, we were upset, angry, because we are trying to do a good thing for a group of good guys and kicking us when we are down,” added Jamieson.
“When somebody thinks they can just come in here and steal from you and take all the money that you have worked hard for, it’s very disheartening,” says Heyland.
Little did they know, that afternoon a young local man named Danny, who had heard his mom and dad talking about the cafe being robbed, would come in with a large container filled with loonies and toonies that he had been saving for a while to buy himself a PS4 video game console. The container had close to $600 in it, which he handed over to replace the fundraiser money that was stolen.
“It was multiple factors it was like, well what will help the community out, me getting a PS4 or give it to hopefully help rebuild the Elks Hall,” said Danny. “I feel good about it.”
Heyland says since the theft the community support has been overwhelming, but Danny’s kind donation has restored some of her faith.
“He just felt like that was something he wanted to do, amazing right? How can you not want to commend that? You know, it was just a really heartwarming thing for him to do,” she said.
“There’s good people and there’s still good kids,” added Jamieson.
A local business owner, Mike Evans from Rock City Comics, was so touched by Danny’s act of kindness that he gave him a PS4 along with some games.
“It’s true what they say about karma, you do good things you get good things” said Danny.
Despite everything that happened, the benefit will still take place. It will be held at the Leslieville Community Centre on February 3. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Hooterville Hilton Café, On The Mend in Rocky and at Eckville Super Service.
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