‘Kettle Falls’ local guy’ comes up big for Emily

The days leading up to Feb. 3 found a certain “KF Local Guy” encouraging friends, acquaintances, and strangers on Facebook to help support a local worthy cause, Wheels for Emily.

Friends and family members of eight-year-old Emily Ryser are trying to find a solution for transportation for wheel-chair-bound Emily, who gets bigger by the day and will soon be too big to easily be carried into a vehicle for transportation.

When Eric Weatherman got wind of this situation through Facebook, he set out to do something about it. Weatherman announced to the Facebook world that he would donate money for the Wheels for Emily project on behalf of everyone who came to eat at the Daily Bread Café. He didn’t even know Emily or her family. He just wanted to do something nice because he saw a need he could fulfill.

Weatherman has recently contemplated eating healthier, and had considered eating at the Daily Bread Café in Colville to see if he could tolerate the food his “twig and berry” friends eat.

Free lunch

Three weeks ago, he posted on Facebook, “Friday Free Lunch. Let’s help this business keep doing good things on many fronts. I'll be there tomorrow, Friday, at 11 a.m. to have the first healthy lunch I have ever had in 54 years.

“I'm also buying for anyone who wants to come join in or just watch to see if I go into a coma. If anyone wants to come give this a spin or just watch me go into uncharted healthy waters, please come by. If we have never met, come on down and let’s get introduced while I buy you a grilled pine nut sandwich or something. I'll buy until they run out of twigs and berries.

“Let’s do this and have a few laughs, unless there are tomatoes, then that wouldn't be funny. Friday for free lunch at Daily Bread--be there or be L7...EW.”

Making good

Eric made good on his word, talking to new and old friends for hours, and then paying for everyone’s lunch and giving a healthy tip to boot.

He bought out all the food the café had left for the day and instructed them to deliver it anywhere they wanted. The additional food went to the men’s homeless shelter and the warming center.

And no, for the record, Eric did not go into a coma after eating at the Daily Bread.

For the Wheels for Emily fundraiser on Feb. 3, Weatherman was in his true form, greeting everyone who walked into the door, inviting them to sit with him, chatting and telling stories, and–along with everyone else–having a terrific time.

Somewhere during the afternoon, Weatherman was talking to an old friend and telling him about the Wheels for Emily project when another customer sitting beside him started correcting him on some of the small details about the project. It turned out the customer was none other than Emily’s grandmother.

Seeing that Weatherman had a check prepared in the amount of $1,000 to give to the fund, and finding out that grandma happened to be the person in charge of the funds for the fundraiser, he thought he could just transfer the check right then and there!

A few other customers also contributed to the fund, bringing the total to $1,220.

The gesture was typical of the affable, generous businessman and former mayor of Kettle Falls.

The Daily Bread spokeswoman, Shelley Bacon, was appreciative of the support, both for a very worthy project for young Emily, and for the business on Cedar Loop in Colville.

“Thanks, KF Local Guy for caring for your community,” Mrs. Bacon said. “Thanks for helping a struggling business survive. Thanks for using the power and influence you have to help a stranger like Emily, and Emily’s family. We need more Local Guys in our midst!

To learn more about Wheels for Emily, visit https://www.gofundme.com/wheels-for-emily, or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Wheels-For-Emily-791072694369165/?fref=ts.