BOSTON (CBS) – This is a story of how a typo can lead to great friendship. Yes, you read that right. Will Novak of Phoenix is going to a ski weekend bachelor party for a man named Angelo in Vermont. The thing is: Will Novak doesn’t know Angelo or any of his friends, and he’s only been skiing once in his life.
It all started with a typo, an email sent to the wrong Will Novak that read, in part:
Angelo’s Bachelor Party
– Bring your 80’s attire, ridiculous awesome get ups, etc. for skiing, ask yourself. “what would Angelo wear?”…. wear that
If you plan on skiing you’re going to need one of these!
– You will also receive an epic one of kind bachelor (Bildo Original) Party T-Shirt.
· There are multiple bedrooms, bunk beds, pull out couches and sofas to crash on, but with some people twice your age attending, these people will take precedent over sleeping accommodations:
· I do suggest bringing an air mattress, sleeping bag, blanket etc.
· I will be bringing (2) fold up cots as well.
But Will Novak of Phoenix, Arizona had never heard of Devin, or Angelo. He’s a self-proclaimed “goofball” and responded with the following email, thinking he’d never hear back:
I do not know who Angelo is. I am a Will Novak who lives in Arizona. Vermont seems like a very far way for me to travel for the bachelor party of a guy I’ve never met.
That being said: f***ing count me in! From the contents of this email, Angelo sounds tremendous and I want to help send him off in style. I hope his bride (or groom) to be, is awesome.
I should note that being a desert dweller, I’ve only been skiing once and I was real bad at it. I hope you all are patient with me on the slopes. In exchange for said patience, I can bring my sweet Nintendo Switch so we can play games in the cabin/chalet/whatever in the evenings. If Angelo isn’t into video games I’m happy to bring Sudoku puzzles or just Indian Leg Wrestle or whatever he likes.
I do find myself tripped up on what to wear. Clearly the direction of asking “what would Angelo wear?” Is a good one. However, again, I do not know him.
He thought that would be the last of it. But it wasn’t. The guys responded, insisting that Will actually come to the Bachelor Party.
With a 10-month-old at home and recent renovations on his house, Novak knew the $750 price tag was too much for a weekend with a bunch of strangers. His friend Jeff suggested a GoFundMe page. “Just to prove that Jeff is an idiot, I put up a GoFundMe thinking this will fail spectacularly,” he told WBZ.
It didn’t fail spectacularly. In fact, in two hours’ time, Novak had raised enough money for the trip. As of the time he landed at Logan Airport Friday afternoon, the page had raised $4,170 from more than 200 donors.
In the week following the initial email, Novak started sharing posts with the hashtag #AngelosBachelorParty. From the online attention, he got more than 8,000 new Instagram followers, free beer and swag for the party from Night Shift Brewing and other companies, and the most important gift: the blessing from his wife.
“I think because it’s like an era of polarization maybe,” he said, trying to figure out why this story took off. “This is a story of people from opposite sides of the country, who knows, we may have different political, religious beliefs, whatever. And we can just get along and have fun. That’s the message I’m getting from people. People are sending me emails and texts and things saying ‘you know, I had a tough week but this is really stupid and it made me laugh.’”
Maybe the best part? Angelo doesn’t know the wrong Will Novak is actually coming. His family has managed to keep the entire thing a big secret. “Angelo’s family, fiancée, his parents have done an amazing job keeping it from him,” Novak said. “They should probably all get jobs in the CIA,” he joked.
Oh, and about that $4,000 fundraiser – it’s not just going to a weekend of skiing and booze. After paying the $750 for his total trip, Novak plans to give the remaining $3,000+ to Angelo and his fiancée, who are expecting their first child.