Community rallies around Chandler man robbed of food cart
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A Valley man sells hot dogs and hamburgers in Chandler but he's so popular people call him the mayor.
That's why when he recently had a horrible string of bad health and bad luck, the community rallied around Randy Walters.
"Three weeks ago Friday, my hot dog cart was stolen from me, right behind the restaurant," Wimpy's Paradise and Pittsburgh Willy's Owner Randy Walters said.
The cart was a big part of his business and without it, Walters had to keep the restaurant open later. The first night, he hailed a cab home.
"I had a money bag with my receipts plus a large deposit that I hadn't made yet because my car wasn't running, so I wasn't able to make a daily deposit, so I had quite a bit of money in that bag. I get up Sunday morning and I sit up quick and realize I don't remember putting my money bag away," Walters said.
That big bag of money was left sitting on the cab's backseat, never to be seen again.
No with no car and no cash, he suddenly couldn't make payroll and for this normally jovial businessman, things went from bad to worse.
"Two days after that, I was coming into work, it was an emotional couple of days and I started having pains, heart attack pains. And I had a heart attack two years ago," Walters said.
His daughter rushed him to the emergency room where after surgery, he was told if he hadn't made it to the hospital before the full-fledged heart attack, he wouldn't have survived.
But years of treating customers with class, even sitting and gabbing with them while they ate, all that good karma started to pay off when his story circulated among his loyal clientele.
"He's an incredible man. He's so inspiring. His positive attitude. No matter what he goes through," Rebecca Powers said.
Powers, with the help of CBS 5 News' Pay It Forward program, presented Walters with $500 cash.
"This just blew me away because I had no idea," Walters said. "I mean $500 right now is like $5,000. It's going to make a big difference."
"I love my job, it's not even a job, I can't wait to get here and I hate to leave and I have fun," Walters said. "I'm one of the blessed people because I'm in a business where I can impact someone's life everyday."
Walters is still weak from surgery, only working a few hours a day, but he still keeps that positive attitude and his customers are intentionally keeping him busy.