San Antonio tuxedo rental worker helps grandfather dying of cancer
SAN ANTONIO - Charlie & Danalynn Parker’s wedding, just ten days before Christmas, marked the day when two families became one. Their fairy tale wedding brought everyone together—except one.
Charlie's grandfather James Winkler was simply too weak to attend. His health had been failing ever since being diagnosed with prostate cancer two years earlier. But in the days leading up to his grandson's wedding, Winkler vowed to be there-- even if he had to be pushed in a wheelchair.
And he got some unexpected motivation inside a local tuxedo rental shop.
"Yes, you're going to make it,” Lisamarie Fallon, Charlie’s mother said a sales associate told him. “Yes, you're going to be there. And she was standing with us on that."
Dana Molinar was the sales associate at Al's Formal Wear in the Rolling Oaks Mall.
"It wasn't the typical go into the store and have somebody wait on you and leave,” Fallon recalled. “It was very much a strong interaction of caring."
Molinar, who’s been working at the store for less than a year, was dealing with loss of her own. Her long-time boyfriend Timothy Griffin passed away in 2018. They have a daughter together named Alyssa who’s 8 years old.
"We still cry,” Molinar said. “It's still been hard on us."
When Fallon shared with Molinar how her father's body has been ravaged by cancer, she took on a different role as friend during Winkler’s tuxedo fitting for the wedding.
“She gave my dad dignity,” Fallon said. “She gave my dad hope. She gave my dad strength. She offered grace and love. Not everyone does that."
Winkler died 3 days after his grandson’s wedding. Molinar, who kept in touch with the family after being personally moved by their story, helped reallocate money from their non-refundable deposit on Winkler’s tuxedo rental. She also offered to help in any other way.
"You made him feel like he was going to be there,” Fallon told Molinar at the store.
Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf helped surprise Molinar after Fallon nominated the worker for the CASH FOR KINDNESS award.
“And he was there in spirit,” Fallon said while holding Molinar’s hands. “He really was. But you made him feel like he was a part of that wedding. And a part of the wedding party. And that's what made it so special."
Wolf shared how her kindness earned her a special award from Fox San Antonio.
“What you did for this family on that day, they're never going to forget," he said.
He reached into his pant pocket and pulled out a stack of $100 bills. Molinar counted the money.
"$500, $600, $700, $800, $900, $1,000,” she said while crying.
"How are you feeling right now?” Wolf asked.
“Thankful,” she said as she reached for Fallon to give her a hug.
Molinar said she plans to use her CASH FOR KINDNESS money to throw her daughter the kind of birthday party she always dreamed of having.
Click here to nominate someone who you think deserves the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS award.