Anderson Twp., Ohio – Sometimes it's the everyday thing that inspires.
For Susan Hardoerfer it was seeing a young man she did not know dancing with abandon five days a week, eight hours a day, holding a sign advertising mattresses on Beechmont Avenue.
“I admire him. I was like, wow, there is a hard working young man. I was amazed he was always, always dancing,” Hardoerfer said.
The zumba instructor was so amazed she went into the store the young man was advertising and demanded he receive a raise. She also learned his name, and a bit about him.
His name is Cody Crothers and he is saving to go to college.
She also found a Facebook page started by fellow admirers of the Beechmont Dancing Man. So, Susan contacted Lisa Connelly and Danielle Toft, the Facebook page creators. Together they decided to show their appreciation for Crothers' work ethic and entertainment with an impromptu flash mob on Sunday, Dec. 29.
“We had the weather against us, and the Bengals competing against us that day. We had 101 people who said they would come on Facebook. I was worried. At the event though, my husband thought it was about a 150 who showed up,” Hardoerfer said.
Those who danced also brought donations to help the young man on his way to start at Ohio State University for the spring semester.
“I was actually accepted into a college in the fall but couldn’t go because of my financial situation,” said Crothers.
That was the reason, in part, why he took the job dancing in the streets for Mattress Solutions in the Cherry Grove Shopping Plaza in August. There were other reasons too, none of which involved flash mobs.
“I was raised by parents who instilled in me a strong work ethic,” Crothers said. “In addition to that, in the beginning, I wanted to be able to let go of what others think of me. That’s originally what made me do it. I wanted to gain that confidence that I never had.”
Crothers said since starting, he gained that confidence, and now with the flash mob, more.
“The fact it had that kind of impact on others is remarkable to me and means a lot to me,” he said. “I can’t even describe how grateful I am. Everyone who organized and everyone who participated don’t really know me. They are incredibly kind and I am grateful for them.”
Toft, Connelly, and Hardoerfer also made contact with Crothers’ parents through the Facebook page. They set up a PayPal account to further collect donations to help with Crothers’ tuition.
“I was completely shocked. I had no idea,” Crothers said. “I was beyond grateful for it; words cannot even measure what it means.”
Crothers plans to major in English. He either wants to be a writer or a teacher.
Hardoerfer was just happy she could do something for someone who inspired her and brought her happiness over the past few months and this holiday season.
“I’m excited and happy for him. He’s someone’s boy and he’s a good boy. It worked out. As it turns out it is wonderful.”
And of course, the flash mob ended with an OSU cheer.
For more information visit the Beechmont Dancing Man's Facebook fan page .