Most people don’t behave in a selfless manor with hopes of winning a free trip to Hawaii, however one lucky and loving Albertan will be granted just that, courtesy of a Central Alberta couple.
In December, Cody and Eva Borek saw an advertisement stating the first 50 people to purchase a new or used vehicle from Aspen Ford in Stettler would receive a free trip for two including airfare, five-star hotel accommodations, as well as breakfast and dinner upon arriving.
“Eva and I talked about it and went and had a look and our salesmen was awesome so we didn’t even look anywhere else, we just decided to get the one we liked,” explained Borek who was excited to use the trip as a honeymoon for him and his newlywed wife.
His excitement over their new vehicle and free honeymoon were soon to change to a different kind of excitement after making the decision to instead gift the trip to someone who they felt was deserving of it.
Borek explained how shortly after the couple purchased their vehicle and received confirmation of their trip, he was shopping at Chapters and his view on their honeymoon changed.
“There was a young lady reading a book in the store that was nearly two dictionaries big – the thing was huge – and it was on the secret to happiness,” he said. “And I just kind of thought to myself, well I’m a rather happy person but I’ve never read any books two dictionaries long on the subject.”
As he ventured back to his vehicle pondering the notion of happiness, his train of thought brought him to something that is the basis of most world religions, and what he believes is a large part of his happiness – the idea of doing unto others as you’d have done unto you or love your neighbour as thyself.
Cody and Eva talked it over that evening and made the decision to gift the trip to someone they felt was deserving.
“As far as our lives go we’ve been very fortunate, we’ve had a lot of good come our way so we wanted to pay something forward and we talked about it and decided on the trip,” said Borek, who along with his wife created the facebook page ‘Free trip to Hawaii for the most deserving person in Central Alberta’ on Boxing Day rather than choosing someone from their own social circles.
“It was a big debate between us whether or not to create the page because really the better way to give is to do it anonymously without any praise or recognition for it, but we chose to open it up to nominations from others.”
The couple explained they believed the page would be a way to give recognition to a couple dozen or maybe 100 people, however they in no way expected the page to reach a viral capacity.
“We wanted to create a space where the nominees could see they are loved and appreciated and thanked but it took off a lot bigger than we expected.”
After being picked up by local, provincial, national, and then international news sources, the facebook page is now home to over 10,000 nominations from individuals hoping to share the stories of people doing incredible work from around the world.
After seeing the volume of support from the province, the giveaway was opened for nominations to anyone living in Alberta. Cody explained over 500 people have nominated one individual from the Edmonton area, and another individual from the Barrhead area has been nominated by over 200 people.
“We’ve had people say, ‘Well you’re just doing that because you’re media hogs’,” he said on the negative feedback he and Eva have received. “And that’s okay because if we can inspire even one other person then we can handle people saying that.”
Their wish to inspire others was fulfilled with thousands of stories stemming from the page including a police officer from the Niagara Falls area who paid for a two-night getaway, meal vouchers and activities for two people and is doing a similar giveaway.
The woman is currently working with Niagara businesses in hopes of being able to extend the trip to a week.
“Although we are Christians – all that we relate religiously to this contest is by looking at how Christ lived and wanted people to live in terms of being loving, caring, forgiving, and selfless and say well, those are pretty amazing qualities to have.
“But it doesn’t matter what faith or religion or beliefs you have as those qualities can exist outside of religion. Some of our leading contenders are actually atheists or from different faiths and it just shows that religion doesn’t need to be a factor in being a good person.”
Cody and Eva hope to narrow down the contestants to a handful of nominees and then pick a winner from a hat in mid-January.