New York firefighter visits acts of kindness on Cedar City, St. George honoring victims of Las Vegas shooting

ST. GEORGE — A volunteer firefighter from Long Island, New York, visited Cedar City Friday and St. George Saturday with acts of kindness and bracelets commemorating those cities’ victims of the October mass shooting in Las Vegas.

L-R Tommy Maher, his daughter Kelli and Aline McXXX stand next to the van that is taking them around the United States in an effort to “pay it forward” in honor of the Las Vegas shooting victims. St. George, Utah, November 11, 2017 | Photo by SHeldon Demke, St. George News

Distributing leather bracelets bearing the names of each of the 58 victims and a 59th honoring first responders, Tommy Maher is hoping his gesture will lead to an outpouring of kindness and good thoughts across the country.

“We’re hoping to spread kindness on a dark situation, you know, spread some light to it,” he said.

Tommy Maher coined his quest #Honor58, to honor the 58 who died Oct. 1 when a gunman unleashed a rain of bullets from the 32nd floor of a casino onto concertgoers attending the outdoor “Route 91 Harvest Festival.”

His goal: To visit an act of kindness on each town or city that the victims had come from and pass along the bracelets carrying the victims’ names. His only request of those receiving the acts of kindness and bracelets is that they “pay it forward” with their own acts, seeding continual kindness across those cities, along with the bracelets carrying forward the victims’ memories.

Tommy Maher poses with car wash workers Saturday in St. George. His Honor58 Facebook post reads: “We gave the employees at St. George car wash drinks in coolers for when they’re working. We did this in honor of Cameron Robinson. #HONOR58 #Vegasstrong #kindness #payitforward.” St. George, Utah, Nov. 11, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Tommy Maher, St. George News

Tommy Maher, his daughter Kelli Maher and family friend Aline Mcentee, began the #Honor58 tour on Nov. 7 in a large white van emblazoned with the words “Pay It Forward” making their first stop in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. In all, the three expect to visit some 20 cities or towns. From Pennsylvania, they proceeded to West Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah – where they stopped in Cedar City and St. George.

Heather Alvarado of Cedar City died in the shooting. She was 35, the mother of three children and married to Cedar City firefighter Albert Alvarado. Following her death, the Cedar City Fire Department issued a statement which said in part, “Heather always saw the good in others. She spent her whole life serving others in her family and community.

Read more: Wife of Cedar City firefighter killed in Las Vegas shooting massacre

Tommy Maher and his crew visited their act of kindness upon Cedar City and met with Heather Alvarado’s family Friday to pay her honor, Maher said.

Cameron Robinson of St. George also died in the shooting. He was 28, worked in Las Vegas and attended the concert with his boyfriend, when he fell victim to the shooting. His sister, Meghan Ervin, wrote a Facebook post the next morning, which said, “He was the best uncle, brother, son, companion/boyfriend anyone could ask for.”

Read more: St. George man among 59 concertgoers killed in Las Vegas massacre

The #Honor58 trio visited their act of kindness upon St. George by bestowing a cooler full of drinks on ice for the workers at the St. George Car Wash on South Bluff Street and honored Robinson’s memory with a leather bracelet bearing his name, given to a local DJ at the same time.

Next up for the three is Las Vegas, Nevada, and then on to Arizona, California, Washington, Iowa, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.

“We’re traveling all the way from Long Island, New York,” Tommy Maher told St. George News Saturday. “We’re going to make our way to California, all the way up the coast there from California to Washington state and back to New York.”

With 32 victims in California, Tommy Maher said, they are planning on spending a bit of time in the state before heading up the coast. He’s also contemplating going into Canada, where several of the victims lived and has a contact in Alaska that will do the act of kindness for him, passing on the bracelet of that state’s victim as well.

“Even if a bracelet is not in your possession,” Maher said, “we’re encouraging everyone to do random acts of kindness, to honor all those who were lost, along with the first responders and the survivors of the event.”

The three are asking the #Honor58 campaign be perpetuated through social media. According to a news advisory issued by Tommy Maher’s sister-in-law Sharon Depelteau: “They are asking people to please take a video, picture, or write your random act of kindness on any social media platform with #honor58.”

Some of those kindness beneficiaries have reciprocated the #Honor58 proposition, posting their own acts paid forward on Tommy Maher’s Honor58 Facebook page.

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Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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