SELMA, California.- On Sunday, the Selma Flea Market gave an extra-special gift to a grieving dad for Father’s Day.
About 15 people gathered around a small room. Most are hold cell phones zoomed in on Jerod Smith and his son Jerod Jr., also known as Bubba.
These past six months have been rough for the two of them because in January Smith lost his mother to a heart attack. Staying strong, the two help each other each day through the ups and downs.
“You know, Jerod is pretty much everything that Bubba has,” said Smith’s best friend Robert Ruiz. You know besides his grandma who passed.”
Bubba plays on the CD Elite, a 10-11 traveling baseball team. His team made it to the Youth Baseball National Championship at the end of July in New York City.
Smith no longer had the help of his mother and feared his son would not be able to make the trip.
“I wanted him to go and I was going to do anything I could to get him there,” said Smith.
On Sunday that is what happened, as Bubba was handed multiple envelopes filled with money to play Bubba’s way, which is estimated to cost $3,000. But there was a twist, Smith’s employer The Selma Flea Market had been collecting donations from vendors and truck drivers for several months in hopes of also sending Smith.
“Jerod, guess what? You are going. All of your expenses are paid and your work shift is covered,” Smith said as he read the note. “Wow. We are going to New York Baby.”
“It makes me feel better,” said Bubba. “I perform better because I know he is right there.”
Coworker Susana Mora who knew Smith’s mother knows she is proud.
“She would be ecstatic because she was such a cheerleader for Bubba,” said Mora. “Bubba was her world so I know she will be looking down on Bubba.”
On top of the all expense paid trip, Smith also received a week long salary to make up for the week he will miss at work from July 22-28.