It all started with a guy by the name of Mike Ellis, and a Birthday Boy…

by Randy Dickerson

Our friend, Mike Ellis, made us aware of a young man, who we’ll call Thomas Robert, tried to have a Birthday party, handed out invites to his classmates, and nobody responded. Well, Mike being Mike, he put the word out, and my lovely Wife, Wendy Dickerson, and I made plans to give a deserving boy a 12th Birthday party. What came after, is the stuff that treasured memories are made of.

On October 28th, 2018, my Wife, Wendy Dickerson and I, went to Prohibition Gastropub, who hosted this soiree, and joined over 100 adults and kids to throw a hum-dinger of a Birthday party for Thomas Robert, and met his younger Brother, and his Mother, which brings us to an important point- The names of this Family have been changed, as they wish to remain anonymous, because of some very extreme domestic violence and abuse occurrences that were committed on all of them, in another state. They were literally starting from homelessness.  On the day of the party, Prohibition Gastropub was smack in the middle of a COMPLETE re-model, nevertheless, the doors were opened for a life changing event! Presents and cards had made their way from literally, around the world- Cards and gifts from Israel, Ireland, Africa, and from all corners of the United States! Some notables from right here in Spokane are, Born2Fly photography, for pics of the party, and portraits for the Mom and Kids, a set of bunk beds, mattresses, night stands, and other furniture from 16 Cents, 3 Shoe & 5 Socks Furniture Gallery, Hillyard’s homegrown prize fighter, Chauncey Welliver and his Wife Sarah Grant Welliver, driving the Birthday Boy and his family in a Spokane Party Bus, Aloha Island Grill for $75.00 in gift cards, Nike of Downtown Spokane for gear and shoes for the whole family, and Tyler McGuire, MMA Fighter, and active Air Force at Fairchild AFB, for a full VIP Package to the November 9th Conquest of the Cage at Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, and folks who made and brought a special Harry Potter Birthday cake, and a whole slew of matching cupcakes!!!! 

As Thomas Robert walked in with his Mom and his Brother, all those folks sang him Happy Birthday, and there weren’t a lot of dry eyes in the house, he was rightly ASTOUNDED!!!!!! Readers, I have to tell you, rarely in my 55 years have I had an opportunity like this, to be witness to a miracle of this magnitude, and it was only the beginning………. While the party rolled on, Thomas met and greeted everyone with a huge grin, a handshake, and a genuine “Thank you for coming!!!!”  Ron Schoonover, also a member of MTFU, rode his gorgeous full dress Harley Davidson, and had Thomas sit on the bike, explained how everything worked, and got some pictures, this was HUGE for Thomas!

When some of the baristas from Dutch Brothers Coffee learned that Thomas used his “X-Box Birthday money” to buy his mom a new vacuum cleaner, they chipped in, and not only bought Him an X-Box, but even came over, set it up, and hung out and played games with him for a few hours

 We were asked by Mike Ellis to escort Thomas to the MMA event, and Wendy and I provided private security for Thomas Robert, so he could go and have a good time, and just be a kid, as we learned that the person that inflicted violence on this Family, is indeed in Spokane. The evening was a COMPLETE success, as when it was over, Thomas actually fell asleep in the car on the 15 minute ride to his home! His mother remarked, “Do you have any idea what that means? He felt so safe with you, that he didn’t have a worry in the world!!!!! We just don’t do that in this Family!!!!”  Wendy and I were over the moon about this…… Every kid deserves to be safe, and just be a KID!

Wendy and I learned that this Family had no Christmas Tree, so we fired up our network, and found a tree, decorations, lights, and some extra decorations for their Home, made arrangements with them, and had a “Pizza and Christmas Tree party”. While there, we learned that the Boys had a Big Brother, who came to visit for Thanksgiving, thus, the plot thickens, as they say. It would seem the Boys’ Big Bro wanted to be there for his Siblings, and their Mom, and was looking for a way to move to Washington State. After getting to know Scotty (The Boys’ big brother) Wendy and I talked it over with the Family, and we have put up Scotty in our Home till he gets on his feet. In addition, since I am a member of MTFU (Man The Family Up, a Facebook Group) I called upon my network to help Scotty find a job (in less than 48 hours, I might add!) Since Wendy and I live in Edwall (yup, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!) we fired up the MTFU network once again to look for dependable transportation for Scotty.  Nathan Peterson of MTFU just happened to have a VERY nice Dodge Dakota 4WD pickup for sale, at a RIDICULOUSLY affordable price! For some reason, all the planets aligned (I call it a “God accident”) and Wendy and I just happened to have the resources to buy it, pay for tax/ title/ and tabs, and helped get him insurance. He can just pay it back over time.

Having the incredible opportunity to get to know this wonderful little Family, has been a joy for my Bride and I, and to witness the outpouring of community support, has just been a miracle to witness.

There are a lot of names that have been left out, due to space constraints, but I will mention the ones that are most notable to us, Mike Ellis, and Dianah Brubaker Ellis for making us a part of it, J.D. and Jill Leonetti, Owners and Operators of Prohibition Gastropub, Nathan Peterson, MTFU Member, Chris Morse, MTFU Founder, and as for the rest of you fine folks, you all know who you are, and what you’ve done…….

To wrap this up, I’ve been a giving person all my life, it is the way I was raised, but the support and Heart of Spokane truly showed through, and you have ALL given this Little Family it’s first REAL Thanksgiving, and the most blessed and amazing Christmas that they could ever imagine.

They’re safe, they’re together, and they are LOVED!!!! And just so you know, Faithful Readers, there will be a Laptop under the Christmas Tree for those Boys to do their homework and research on, all thanks to Anthony Accardo, IT guy extraordinaire, and MTFU member.  

Be the change you want to see!

Randy and Wendy Dickerson

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