DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. – A Dinwiddie County man received a big surprise at work Thursday after receiving a priceless gift that left him in tears.
You may remember Jonathan Rainey of Dinwiddie County. In April, CBS 6 told Rainey’s story after someone ransacked his home, destroying some invaluable items, including his father’s urn.
Rainey was still mourning the loss of his father, Richard Rainey, who died in September 2015.
The thief smashed the urn, spreading ashes across his kitchen floor. They also stole fishing poles that belonged to Rainey’s father.
“The urn and his ashes, why did they do that? That's definitely something you don't mess with, someone's family like that, it's definitely not right," Rainey said in April.
The stolen fishing poles that were stolen also held a significant sentimental value to Rainey as he and his father loved to fish together with the rods.
Mike Clary, a local firefighter, who also owns a tackle box company said he was moved by Rainey’s story on CBS6 and wanted to give back.
“Seeing his father’s ashes on the floor that’s what caught me,” Clary said about the crime. “It struck me wrong. It’s as low as it gets.”
Clary knew Rainey through a working relationship at Dance’s Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights, where Rainey works.
“The fishing community is a really tight knit group,” Clary said.
Clary said he made some phone calls and helped organize a fundraiser for Rainey through Virginia Elite 70, which is a local fishing tournament that raises money for local charities.
During a recent tournament, Virginia Elite 70 raised money for Rainey and another charity and split the profits right down the middle.
Although they couldn’t replace the priceless items that were stolen, Clary said he wanted to help anyway he could.
“Those things mean a lot to you, especially since they were his fathers,” he said.
In addition to the money raised during the fishing tournament, Clary wanted to give Rainey a very special custom fishing pole that he could create new memories with.
Rainey was able to get Rainey’s father nickname engraved in the pole.
“It just seemed fitting to me to put ‘Head’ on the rod,” Clary said. “That’s how his father was known to his friends.”
Thursday, Clary and Steve Camp with Priority Fishing paid Rainey a visit at Dance’s to unveil the check from the fundraiser, a fishing t-shirt and the engraved fishing pole.
“You doing alright today?” Camp asked Rainey. “You want to do better?”
“I would love to do better,” Rainey responded.
Camp told Rainey he heard about what happened to him recently. “We are all family, we're a pretty small tight knit community…. What we wanted to do was kind of help you out… Get you back on your feet,” he said as he presented Rainey with the check from the fundraiser.
But that wasn’t all.
“I wanted to get a little something done for you. So I got a rod made for you, but I think if we put a little word on there, it may mean something to you,” Clary said pointing at the engraving on the pole.
“It means a whole lot,” Rainey said with tears in his eyes. “Thank you so much.”
“I knew we nailed it. We did the right thing,” said Clary. “We care about Jonathan, we care about our fellow sportsmen, and we are here to help each other.”
Clary said Rainey was extremely humbled by the gifts and he is looking forward to scheduling a fishing trip with him real soon.
The burglary at Rainey's home is still unsolved, anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.