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Stranger's act of kindness gives Sandy kid fishing trip of a lifetime

Posted at 2:16 PM, Sep 06, 2023

A Scheels manager and a young Utah boy having a conversation about fishing led to a touching gesture that will last a lifetime.

Patrick Palepoi talks to people all day. It’s his job.

Palepoi, a resident of Orem, works as the fishing manager at the Scheels in Sandy, Utah. He assists customers with all their fishing questions.

One particular day, Palepoi had an interaction that would leave a long-lasting impression on him.

“One night, a young boy came into the Sandy, Scheels fishing shop, and he came up to me it was just him,” Palepoi said. “I’m assuming he ran away from his mom. And he just wanted to talk fishing.”

That young boy’s name is Xander. He had been eager to learn how to fish and was inspired by his late grandfather.

“We talked about where to go, what to use, how to cast a rod for a little bit. For about 30 minutes I was just casting a fishing rod with him," Palepoi explained.

“So my dad, he was a fisherman,” said Brynn Padilla, Xander’s mother. "So he went fishing a lot. But he passed away a couple of years ago and Xander never got to really go with him fishing. And so I think, over the last year, that he's been missing grandpa, wishing he could go fishing with grandpa again. And so, I feel like that's why we’ve tried to get him back into it.”

During their interaction at the Scheels store, Palepoi bought Xander a fishing rod.

“It was sixty dollars and then he bought it with his own money,” Xander said.

The sweet interaction touched Padilla.

“She started crying,” Xander said as he pointed to his mom.

“I did start crying,” Padilla said. “That kind of act doesn’t happen every day."

Palepoi’s act of kindness was inspired by his own experience growing up with a single parent.

“Growing up, I had a single mother and didn't really have a father figure to take me out fishing, hunting, or anything like that,” Palepoi said. And so my boy scout leaders took it upon themselves to take me fishing…He really reminded me of myself. Just as a kid, And it just really resonated with me.”

However, Palepoi’s generosity went above and beyond. The 22-year-old also organized a fishing trip to Strawberry Reservoir for Xander and his family. Two Scheels fishing professionals accompanied Xander on the trip to teach him.

“I felt like it was my due diligence to pass on the good word of fishing I’d say,” Patrick said with a big smile.

Padilla said it was a trip of a lifetime for her son.

“It just came into our lives at the perfect time,” Brynn said. “Like another expert out there to help Xander learn. It’s pretty remarkable that Patrick, as young as he is, is out there, like, doing things like this. It's just a breath of fresh air.”