BY ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Craig Wessel has been working at the Dairy Queen in Sisters for nearly a year.
During a busy lunch hour like this one, it’s all hands on deck, every employee playing a crucial role to keep the masses happy.
Craig’s bike is his only way to get back and forth to work to make sure he’s there during those busy hours.
But a couple of weeks ago, a thief made off with Craig’s prized possession while he was hard at work.
“This has been my primary mode of transportation for about five years since I finished high school,” Wessel said. “A couple of weeks ago I was just working and I had forgotten to lock it up and, you know, you really don’t think in a town like this that you gotta lock something up like that but you do now. And it was stolen, it just got, some jerk just came took it, did who knows what with it. Who knows where it is?”
Craig, devastated by the loss, filed a police report, but his bike still hasn’t been found.
In the following days he relied on friends and family to get to and from work each day.
“Kinda sucked. Wasn’t really independent,” Wessel said.
Just as Craig was resigned to saving up for a new bike, his co-workers stepped in to ask community members, an employee at the nearby Washington Federal Bank and family, to help raise money for a new bike for Craig.
“My son Thomas started asking people if they wanted to take up a collection because Craig is an awesome guy, an awesome employee,” said Carol Landon, Dairy Queen owner.
“He told me it had gotten stolen and a few days later I just, I don’t know, it just popped into my head that, “Oh we should just get him a new bike!” If people are willing to donate money, it just felt like something I should do,” said Wessel’s manager Thomas Landon. “So I started asking around and collecting cash and then went over and bought him a new bike over at Blazing Saddles. He was pretty ecstatic when I gave it to him!”
Landon and the community raised more than $500 for Craig’s new bike. Blazin Saddles, the bike shop in Sisters, provided the bike and some parts at cost, helping to lower the price.
Craig was more than surprised, he was beyond grateful.
“What does it mean to me? It means a lot. It shows that in a town like this even though bad things can happen we have really good, caring people who know what people need,” he said.