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Generous spirits raise cash for HOV patient at Glendale bar

Victoriano Rodriguez

Generous spirits raise cash for HOV patient at Glendale bar

Trace Hardin and Victoriano Rodriguez haven’t met and probably never will. But their lives have been forever touched by each other.

Hardin set out to raise money for a deserving HOV patient and, knowing nothing about him, persuaded clients, customers and just about anyone with a few extra bucks to pitch in. They filled her tip jar at Hooper’s Bar, a neighborhood place in Glendale where she tends bar part-time. They did the same for other employees. They tucked bills in her hand at the yoga class she teachers. They stopped her at the gym with donations.

Everyone she asked gave. No one knew who it would help. That’s what made it even better.

“This was just local people deciding to be generous, because everyone’s family has been touched by hospice,’’ Hardin said.

Rodriguez, a humble 84-year-old widower who suffers from cardiac disease, is overwhelmed by the generosity of these strangers.

“Oh good!’’ he said, a smile spreading across his face. “I need to buy clothes that fit me because I’ve lost so much weight. And I want to visit my brothers in California.’’

Rodriguez doesn’t have any family in Arizona and hasn’t seen his brothers in about 12 years.

Hardin decided to hold a fundraiser for an HOV patient after chatting with yoga student Jean Marie Stockton, director of clinical services at the agency’s West Clinical office, who frequently wears her HOV T-shirt to class. Hardin spread the word, people gave generously and the effort raised about $1,700 for Rodriguez.

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