Known for cheerfully waving at passersby from his maintenance cart, longtime Village of Wellington employee Horace Reeves was celebrated Friday, Dec. 17 when a number of residents came together to surprise him at the original Wellington Mall.
“We simply wanted to do something to show Horace how much we appreciate him,” said a local teacher, who organized the event. “For nearly three decades, Horace has taken care of this community. Not only does Horace work hard keeping our environment clean and free from litter, he brightens our day every time he interacts with us and is truly a beloved member of the community.”
Those who routinely pass Reeves along his route have learned that acts of kindness don’t have to be grand or elaborate to be impactful. When Reeves waves to motorists and chats with the pedestrians he meets, he turns their days around for the better.
The idea to collectively recognize Reeves this holiday season originated when residents began sharing stories on social media about their friendly encounters with him. Once everyone began swapping their “Horace Stories,” the public sentiment was clear. All that was needed was someone to steer what was already in motion, so the event organizers opened a crowd-funding page and publicized it. Rick Darquea, a local law professional and DJ, was instrumental in pushing the campaign online.
Reeves was surprised by a few dozen well-wishers when he arrived at the original Wellington Mall for what he thought was a work-related errand. The flash-mob style ensemble was composed of residents eager to tell him about the ways he has affected them over the years. He was met with cookies, balloons and a card from everyone who chipped in toward what was dubbed “The Horace Appreciation Fund.”
Reeves, who commutes from Pahokee and is grandfather to six grandsons, was delighted and moved. “How sweet it is to love and be loved,” he said, tearing up.