Feel Good Friday: Love-filled pizza deliveries and a special tribute to a WWII veteran

Feel Good Friday

In a week of extremely cold weather and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, a few feel-good stories from across the Chicago area can keep the spirits warm.

This week, two local pizza shops, ‘Bartoli’s Pizza’ and ‘The Stop Along’ collaborated to bake hundreds of extra pizzas to be delivered to a family in need.

Through a program called ‘West Town Feeds’, families can request a pizza for free. Several restaurants have jumped on board despite struggling themselves.

“People are literally crying when we show up to their door. The kids are so happy. It’s a tough time right now,” Bartoli’s owner Brian Tondryk said.

In another extraordinary effort to spread kindness, Eric Wolkotte, who works the cafeteria at Atria at River Trail Senior Living, went out of his way to make the day of one resident.

The resident, named Clayton, kept asking if he could get a bowl of his favorite cereal from his youth, ‘Post Toasties.’

Wolkotte initially thought getting him the cereal would just take a trip to the store, before realizing it had been 50 years since the cereal was made.

Wolkotte didn’t stop there however, and contacted Post Cereal who told him that the name of Post Toasties was changed to ‘Honey Bunches of Oats’ decades ago.

With this information, Wolkotte bought a large box of Honey Bunches of Oats before heading to a local printer, where he had them custom make the same box the cereal was packaged in 50 years ago.

Clayton was overjoyed and has been first in line for his cereal fix every morning since.

“I lost my grandfather when I was 17 and he was my last grandparent, but now I feel like I have one hundred of them and I will do anything I can for them,” Wolkotte said.

Just over a year ago, World War II veteran Woody Hughes was interviewed by WGN, where he shared an incredible life story. Hughes was a husband, father, a Maine West high school basketball coach and one of the state’s last survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Hughes shared his stories for years in classrooms and conferences, and spent his final years encouraging young people to do good in the world and exercise their freedom.

Hughes passed away at the age of 94 on Tuesday, and leaves behind a remarkable legacy for his family and all that knew and were affected by him.

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