Event also helps local deli during pandemic

Beginning this past Monday, Dec. 28, select Cloverdalians who ordered from MoE’s Eagle’s Nest Deli were subjects of planned random acts of kindness, meant to honor the memory of Ian Conlon, who died unexpectedly last year after walking home from MoE’s. To help celebrate Conlon’s life and to support a local business, Conlon’s partner Renee Roe organized a 12-day “Random Acts of Kindness” event with the deli.

As part of the random acts of kindness, for 12 business days following Dec. 28, MoE’s will identify folks who seem like they could use some kindness and let them know their meal is covered.

“Being from New York, Ian always loved a good deli, and was so excited when he stumbled upon MoE’s Eagle’s Nest, and their delicious sandwiches. Even more so, for him it was a special place where you are always greeted with a smile, and they not only know your name, but they treat you like family. It was also the place where he shared his last smile while placing an order for a favorite sandwich, and very unexpectedly passed at the young age of 51, walking home with a jaunt to his step, and his sandwich bag in his hand,” Roe wrote in an announcement about the event. “Ian was that guy — he jumped out into the street to give your car a push when it stalled. He cooked extra meals to distribute to neighbors, and others who could use a warm meal. He built not one but three Little Free Libraries to encourage literacy and neighborliness. He had a soft heart for animals, seniors, veterans and the disabled, and was always there to not only do the kind thing, but the right thing for those less fortunate.”

Conlon had picked up their favorite sandwiches and was on his way home when he suffered a heart attack. Dec. 28 is his birthday.

“I was trying to figure out something we could do to recognize (Ian’s birthday)” Roe said in an interview Monday. “With COVID and everything else we haven’t been able to do anything … I started thinking about what would make a difference and be something meaningful.”

So, Roe came up with an idea to both honor Conlon’s memory and help support MoE’s — MoE’s owner Monique Evans showed up at Roe’s door after hearing about Conlon’s death, bringing her and her family soup and bread.

“Within that first couple of days, Mo found out and delivered soup for days for my family. I was in a total daze and didn’t know what was happening around me. She’s the kind of person I want to support during this and it’s meaningful to me that she was there as one of the last people he saw,” Roe said.

On Dec. 28, Roe announced the days of kindness to the community, encouraging folks to call in and purchase a meal deal for a random person — by Monday afternoon, an anonymous person called in to pay it forward for the entire 12 days. Evans said that by Monday afternoon the budget for the random acts of kindness had been doubled based on the amount of folks who called in.

“Renee has been such a sweet supporter of the deli. When Ian passed away … she allowed me to honor him by creating a sandwich in honor of him and his passing,” Evans said. “I’ve always been keeping him in mind. He was loved everywhere he went. Everyone was so excited to see Ian come in because he was such a sweet person.”

To buy a meal deal for a random person from MoE’s, call 707-894-9290. The deli is open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

During a difficult year, Roe said that she hopes doing this will help support a business that supported her, and that it encourages people to perform similar acts of kindness in ways that support local family-owned businesses.

“It’s the spirit of Cloverdale — it’s like everyone is pulling for each other,” Roe said.

Finding the Good Samaritan

Roe said that Conlon saw one other person on the sidewalk before he passed away — an unidentified stranger went to the door and told Roe what was happening.

“I’m still looking for the lady that helped him,” she said, noting that the person would’ve seen him on First and East streets.

“Somehow when Ian pointed and said ‘Please get Renee,’ she came to find me, so I can say thank you to her too. Because of her I was able to be with him in his last moments, and ride with him in the ambulance to the hospital, so he was not alone. I am so very grateful that she came and got me, and I believe she is also the one who called the ambulance. The Cloverdale ambulance was already driving up, as I was running down our long pathway toward him.”

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