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Today, we welcome Will Novak. Will is a former comedian turned public servant and dad that is experienced his fifteen minutes of fame (and coincidentally it is our host Meagan’s brother). You may remember Will from the media coverage he received after he attended a strangers bachelor party across the country. Ultimately the experience and Will went viral.
WHO IS WILL NOVAK?
Will works for the city of Mesa in the economic development department where he helps businesses that want to expand come to Mesa. He formerly worked for the city of Phoenix and also worked for the mayor of Phoenix.
He did stand up comedy for six years and decided he needed to get a real job in order to pay bills. He went back to school at Arizona State University and studied Public Policy. Then, he met his wife and decided to start a family.
Will says his fifteen minutes of fame is still existing. He was recognized by a woman in a bar who was laughing at him which he says brought him back to his high school days and went up north to go skiing in Flagstaff where multiple people recognized him and his ski suit that he wore to Angelo’s bachelor party.
ANGELO’S BACHELOR PARTY
Angelo is from Ramsey, New Jersey and on January 7th, 2019, Will received an email where it said, “URGENT INFO PLEASE RESPOND RIGHT AWAY: ANGELO’S BACHELOR PARTY”. The emailed explained that the bachelor party was going to go on a skiing trip in Vermont where they are going to party hard and where crazy outfits from the 80’s. He decided to respond with a long, over the top, silly email explaining how he was from the desert and did not know how to ski but f***ing count me in!
Two days later, they wrote back and said he was in! It would cost $750 for the whole trip and decided to put up a GoFundMe account and two hours later, they had $1,000 already. He sent out a tweet just thanking the public and there were so many retweets from the community. He was interviewed my multiple new sources including the Arizona Republic and USA Today. The GoFundMe eventually grew to $5,000.
The story got so big that it got picked up by big news sources like the Washington Post and Good Morning America. He borrowed a white and rainbow ski suit and went on his way to the airport where he got special treatment including having his bags paid for, skipping the TSA line, and having an upgraded seat. Everyone on the plane thought he was Shaun White, the famous snowboarder, because he was wearing a red, white, and blue jacket and has red hair.
He saw that there was a huge storm rolling into Vermont and he started tweeting his rental car company asking for a four wheel drive upgrade and then enterprise said he had him covered because the other rental car company was not being responsive. A lot of people showed up to greet Will in Boston when he landed including a brewery company who brought him cases of beer for the bachelor party. The Night Shift Brewing Company took him to Enterprise where they upgraded his car to a Maserati SUV. They filled the whole thing up with beer and he was on his way.
He had a quick dinner with a friend in Boston and made his way to Vermont. As he gets into Vermont, his GPS stops working. He goes down this road and eventually gets to a bridge that has collapsed because of the weather. He starts backtracking down a highways where he finds four cop cars. The cops gave them directions and he finally finds the house. He knew it was the place because he saw fireworks shooting out of the house and music coming from inside. By six in the morning, the party started to die down and he had to sleep on the ground in a puddle of beer. They eventually got up and made it to the ski resort around 1 pm. The ski resort had multiple people greeting them with a huge banner and goodie baskets. Will had ski lessons and only had one huge wipeout. At night, the ski resort had a light show at night and was just one big party.
When they woke up the next day, the huge storm came in and all the cars were snowed in. As the weekend was ending, Good Morning America called the group and asked if they wanted to travel to New York City to be on TV. They traveled to New York in the Maserati where the next day they were on Good Morning America with Michael Strahan. In the green room, they met Jackie Chan and America’s strongest woman.
They said their goodbyes and went on their way. Any money that was left from the GoFundMe, Will gave to Angelo for their wedding and their expected baby. This amazing story brought joy to many people around the world and multiple people stated that this story on the news was the first hopeful article they have seen in a long time.
Will says that his next steps in life is to go back to his day job and possible help create this story into a movie. The lesson is to be open to try new things and meet new people.
Will lives a celebrated life by focusing on how he only has one life to live so live it to the fullest. In his wise words, “Do not eat at the Whole Foods, eat Sour Patch Kids everyday”.
Good Morning America interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbBAXp8vkro
Thank you to our featured video and photography partners: Ryann Lindsey Photography, Melissa Ivy Photography, The Shepards, Rachael Koscica Photography, Aaron Kes, Kayla Fisher Photography, Olivia Markle, Rachel Soloman Photography, Marie Claire Photography, Emily Vandehey, Morgan Mccanne, Andrew Glatt, Chiara Shine Photography, Mike Oblinski, and Good Vibe Media.