— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
John Prowse wants to get Leo Horlick into the meat business, at least for a day or two.
Prowse, who has worked in the frozen foods business for many years on the mainland and is now back in St. John’s, says when he read a recent Telegram article about Horlick’s power being cut to his apartment and his financial troubles, he wanted to help.
And the timing was good, as Prowse had a little problem he needed help with also.
Prowse had ordered in a quantity of sirloin steak for a purpose that subsequently fell through, and was looking for another means of using the product.
“When I saw Leo’s story I thought here is a potential option,” Prowse said. “When it came down to Leo, I said here’s a guy who needs money, so potentially, if he was involved with me selling steaks, he would make money and I would get rid of the product.”
Prowse said the product is from Greater Omaha Packing. According to that company’s website, it operates one of the newest beef-processing facilities in the United States delivering high-quality beef products.
Prowse plans to take orders for the steaks and, along with Horlick, will deliver them.
There are about 10 steaks — weighing 10-11 ounces each — individually vacuum packaged. The price is $105 per pack. Horlick will get $10 per each pack of steaks sold.
Prowse said steaks will delivered immediately as the orders come in.
Orders can be placed by calling or texting 709-693-5620 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Horlick said he is overwhelmed by the gesture from Prowse.
“He comes up to me and says he wants to help me out,” Horlick said. “I said I’m all for that.”
Horlick recently spent about a week living in his apartment without power after it was cut by Newfoundland Power due to arrears.
Horlick, 46, suffers from spina bifida, which stunted and weakened his legs and caused swelling in his head.
The Telegram ran an initial story about him in April, telling of his troubled life in Ontario before he moved back to Newfoundland in the early 2000s. He’s found some measure of contentment since. Despite his disability, he walks most places he goes with the aid of a cane, and lives on income support.
In order to get his power turned back on, Horlick had to go to an office of the Department of Advanced Education and Skills to sign a customer redirect agreement with Newfoundland Power so more of his income support can be redirected to cover off his power bill.
Since Horlick’s story first ran in The Telegram, he’s met relatives he never knew he had, is greeted by strangers daily who approach him with words of encouragement and sometimes buy him a coffee, and has been offered small amounts of cash, food items, and gift cards.
One of the most treasured items he received, he said, is an old photo album an aunt gave him. The small album once belonged to his mother and contains a photo of her, and photos of Horlick and some of his siblings when they were children.
“It’s amazing to see those,” said Horlick, who hasn’t seen any of his family members in many years.
But to Horlick, more than the cash and gift cards, it’s been the handshakes, words of encouragement and the recognition that has meant the most.
And to those who approach him like Prowse, his gentleness and genuine character makes you feel glad you did.
“He’s the real deal,” Prowse said. “A nice gentleman.”