Outpouring of support for Ruby Tuesday cook who walks 18 miles to work

Community rallies around Ruby Tuesday cook

MENTOR, Oh. -- Can you imagine getting up at 3 a.m. to walk 18 miles to work?

It's a reality for a Euclid man.

30-year-old Kevan Finley's story has touched the hearts of many in Northeast Ohio.

Channel 3 shared his story last night at 11.

Finley is a cook at Ruby Tuesday, whose daily journey takes him five hours from his house to Mentor.
His mode of transportation is his feet.

“I risk being late when I catch the bus on Saturdays so I don't like being late. I'd rather walk on those days," said Finley.

His manager says Finley comes in everyday and does a great job. He's never once asked anyone for a ride.

His co-workers have also started a GoFundMe account to jump start a car fund for Finley. 

Since the story aired, donations have been pouring in. In fact, at last check: it had raised more than $5,100 of the $6,000 goal.

A worker at Ruby Tuesday also told us that customers are giving extra tips for Finley and ten people have stopped into the restaurant to make a donation.

Finley's story also captured the eye of Mentor Police officer Phil Croucher.

Officer Croucher was driving by and offered Finley a ride.

"I told him I was going to work at Ruby Tuesday so he dropped me off there," said Finley.

Debi Boehlefeld’s husband Greg saw it all unfold.

“He came home and said I have this awesome story to tell you. I saw this Mentor police officer picking up this young man on the side of the road," Boehlefeld recounts her husband’s story.

Officer Phil Croucher isn’t looking for an interview.

But the Boehlefeld’s are singing his praises.

Debi says, "Greg said he was very humble and that the officer said “it's not a big deal.  I just gave him a ride."

"Well he's not the first police officer who has ever offered me a ride so I wasn't too surprised by it.  Thankful, but not surprised," said Finley.

Debi Boehlefeld posted her husband’s account of it on Facebook.

"Everyone is just wishing Kevan well and saying God Bless you.  You are such a hard worker," said Boehlefeld.

With all the generous donations Finley is well on his way to getting a car.

The owner of Lakeland Auto Credit in Euclid also wants to help.

Neil Perry put up $1,000 of his own money, and says if people are moved by Finley’s story, will match another thousand dollars.  He has a car ready to give to Finley.

"I've been there. A few years ago I walked some miles in the guy's shoes so I figured I am in a position to help. Why not? People have helped me. I’ll pass it on."

Finley smiles when he says, "I wouldn’t be walking 5 hours to work anymore. That would cut the trip down to about 20 minutes I think."

We'll continue to update this story.

 

(© 2016 WKYC)


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