On any other day Nathan Maier would have struck gold.
At Phil Waterford’s Christmas Eve community breakfast and toy giveaway Saturday morning, an 8-year-old Lincoln Elementary student was the child selected to go home with a brand new bicycle.
The only catch was that he already had a bicycle, and he wanted to make sure that somebody who didn’t could spend their Christmas Day riding around their own neighborhood on a new set of wheels.
So he made that happen.
“As soon as he won it he told me that he already had a bike, so I told him that now he had two because I wanted to move the line along and get to the next child,” Waterford said. “He came up after and started tugging on my jacket and told me he wanted to give it away to somebody who didn’t have a bike. I thought that was remarkable.”
Maier went and found third-grader Bayle Spencer and chose her as the person that would end up going home with the new bike.
It was a spur of the moment decision, he said – a chance to spread a little bit of the holiday spirit that people are supposed to show to one another during the time of year when giving is supposed to be the norm.
“It was something that I did from the bottom of my heart,” Maier said – clutching a Lego set that he was taking home instead of the bike. “It’s just the kind of thing that you’re supposed to do for Christmas.”
Maier’s father Kip had no clue that his son was going to do something so selfless when they showed up for the event Saturday morning. He said that it gave him a sense of pride that rivaled anything he’d ever seen his young son do before.
“It was just so nice of him to do something like this – it makes you proud as a parent to see something like that,” he said. “Christmas is my favorite time of year, and this just adds something extra to that. It’s great to have something to go with that this year.”
Saturday marked the third straight year that Waterford has hosted a community breakfast at his dealership, and the first that wasn’t a joint event hosted by his company and A Place of Refuge church – a split that came from the church itself deciding to hold their Christmas services the same morning.
Waterford said that by having faith in both God and the good nature of people, the event was able to come together – with support from community businesses and individuals – the way that it was supposed to.
“It takes a village to raise a child, and if everybody works together we’ll get through these tough economic times,” he said. “You can tell by the number of volunteers that we have here today that people care and want to make a difference, and that’s a great thing to see.”