Archive for Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cardiologist — and many others — offer help to 11-year-old entrepreneur who fell victim to theft

May 15, 2012, 8:35 a.m. Updated May 15, 2012, 11:57 a.m.


Quinton Westphal, 11, pushes his new lawn mower recently at his East Lawrence home. Quinton saved up to buy the mower so he could start his own lawn mowing business. However, the mower was stolen a day after he purchased it.

Quinton Westphal, 11, pushes his new lawn mower recently at his East Lawrence home. Quinton saved up to buy the mower so he could start his own lawn mowing business. However, the mower was stolen a day after he purchased it.

When Lawrence cardiologist Roger Dreiling was 11 years old, his grandfather bought him a lawn mower so he could start a business in his hometown of Hays.

So when Dreiling read an article Tuesday morning about 11-year-old Lawrence boy Quinton Westphal, whose mower was stolen recently, it tugged at the doctor’s heartstrings.

“This kid needs a mower,” said Dreiling, impressed by the boy’s work ethic. “I’m going to make that happen.”

The Westphal family had numerous offers to buy Quinton a lawn mower shortly after the story went online. A deluge of emails and calls came into the Journal-World as well, with offers of replacing the mower.

“It warms my heart,” said Quinton’s mom, Jasmine.

Quinton had recently saved money for a lawn mower by collecting cans, selling homemade duct-tape wallets and socking away his birthday money.

With $250 in hand, Quinton and his dad, Schuyler, purchased a mower last week, one day after Quinton’s birthday. Quinton even had several accounts in the neighborhood lined up.

But like any beginning business venture, some lessons come the hard way.

Quinton used a cable to tie up the mower, and he secured it with cinder blocks in the backyard of their home on New York Street but didn’t use a lock. A day after the big purchase, the mower was gone. Stolen.

With a shrug of the shoulders, Quinton admitted he was a little down. But the theft was just a little bump in his business venture, and he vowed to save for another mower.

But the charitable cardiologist will help Quinton get back to his business soon, and they planned to pick out a new mower Tuesday afternoon.

“I was trying to figure out how I was going to help pay for it,” said a thankful and relieved Schuyler.


Roland Gunslinger 5 years, 6 months ago

Any way to send this kid some cash? Maybe set up a fund or paypal account?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 6 months ago

Great idea, I would definitely be in for that. I am impressed that he already had accounts set up.

motercyclejim 5 years, 6 months ago

No we shuldnt give the kid a hand out than he just lerns to be part of this wellfair state that demicrats want to make Kansas!!!

Richard Payton 5 years, 6 months ago

It's not a hand out but a gift from a nice doctor. Most folks can use a hand up now and then. Now the jerk that stole the lawnmower believes in getting a hand out. I just hope that person that stole the lawnmower might also learn what cuffs feel like.

Bill Martin 5 years, 6 months ago

Great to see how our tax dollars for grade school education were used on this guy. Or how they are STILL being used...probably a ten year old competitor, sad.

John Hamm 5 years, 6 months ago

MCJ has a point. No handouts - he doesn't need any he's a businessman. If you want to truly help him - give him some business, honest business.

auntmimi210 5 years, 6 months ago

Sarcasm anyone? Irony? I can't believe people didn't get this comment. Pretty funny.

Loretta James 5 years, 6 months ago

your post is crazy its helping a kid has nothing to do with welfare or democrats

guppypunkhead 5 years, 6 months ago

This is the type of thing that turns great, ambitious, hard-working people like this fellow into jaded grumpy people. Keep your chin up, kid! Next time you'll be one step ahead of them.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like he's five steps ahead already!

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 6 months ago

Looks like we have a free mower offer from a reader, so he may be all set. We'll let you know for sure.

Shaun Hittle Reporter

Marcy McGuffie 5 years, 6 months ago

Wonderful! Definitely keep us updated. I know there are several of us who want to chip in, if this offer falls through...

WDP 5 years, 6 months ago

I would donate $$. Just let me know where to send it.

Kat Christian 5 years, 6 months ago

This happened to me - my mower was stolen off my carport. I know have it locked to prevent theft. Check the pawn shops that is where I found my mower at the Yellow House. One thing I learned engrave your driver's license (or some other id #) on the mower with an engraving gun. I hope the creep who stole that boys mower has a really bad rest of his life. Jerk.

Dusty Murphy 5 years, 6 months ago

Absolutely. He should engrave his or dad's name, and dad's driver's license number. And do it somewhere that's not easily seen do it can't be removed with a grinder before the thief tries to turn it over.

Aiko 5 years, 6 months ago

I will be glad to donate whatever Lil Man needs to get going again.. provide contact information if possible....

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 6 months ago

Quinton's unfortunate experience reminds me of a different type of entrepreneur I saw a few years ago.

I was visiting a friend and noticed a man walking down the street. I watched him carefully inspect the interior of a neighbor's garage. What appeared to me to be unusual was that he was pulling a lawn mower, and carrying a can of gasoline.

You might assume that he was looking for someone that needed to have their lawn mowed for a few dollars, but that was not the case at all. Instead, he made quite an offer to my friend. He offered to sell her the lawnmower and the can of gasoline for $20.

She declined the offer.

It was very obvious to me what he was doing. After he walked away dragging the lawn mower and carrying the can of gasoline, I told my friend exactly what it was. He was walking around stealing lawn mowers and cans of gasoline, and then selling them to the victim's neighbors.

She was a bit surprised, and made a remark about how she wasn't really aware of things like that.

A couple years later, her lawn mower was gone. I wonder what happened to it.

acg 5 years, 6 months ago

OMG, seriously, shut your pie hole and learn how to spell! Now, shoo!

asixbury 5 years, 6 months ago

If he makes under a certain amount of money, he doesn't have to pay taxes or provide insurance. And since he is a kid, it's like kids selling lemonade, or people having garage sales; you don't have to bother with all that.

gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

Depends on the jurisdiction. Every once in awhile there's a story about a kid's lemonade stand being shut down for not meeting health code or having a permit. And I'm pretty sure you have to give the City of Lawrence $$$ for a permit for a garage sale.

asixbury 5 years, 6 months ago

Noone ever gives money for a garage sale permit. Law or not, that never happens and it is never enforced. I doubt it is a law.

Leandra Galindo 5 years, 6 months ago

That's messed's probably at the local pawn shop?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 6 months ago

Some occupy dude wanted his fair share of the kid's mower.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

You really are an insensitive idiot aren't you?

asixbury 5 years, 6 months ago

What does Obama have to do with this?

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

Because for some ljworld commentators, no story can every be removed enough from politics to not drop in BS political commentary. . . . .

motercyclejim 5 years, 6 months ago

May be u shuld move 2 frannce if u hate America sooo much!!!

WhollyRoamin 5 years, 6 months ago

Another potential bumper sticker!

You're good.

acg 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

Obvious parody troll is obvious. C'mon folks.

This is his very first comment, from December of last year:

"YES! finaly some one smart on this website!!1 y should I have to give tax to the US they should pay ME for livving here and making it so great!"

That is a fake.

ctrowbridge 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, everyone, for your offers to help! Very cool. That's the Lawrence I love. — Caroline Trowbridge, Community Editor

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 6 months ago


I have been flooded with requests for help...lots of interested people out there.

patkindle 5 years, 6 months ago

lets not be so hard on the lawnmower theif he probably just needed some money for drugs we give him everything else, free food , etc all he needs is someting to take the eddge off after all we are pretty drug friendly in lawerence so what is bad about taking from a "rich kid" that worked for a lawn mower, and giving it to a poor guy that needs drug money hope and change you know thats how we roll in lawrence usa

Robert Wells 5 years, 6 months ago

I started making my " First " dollar mowing yards at the old Sunflower village-now know as Clearview. Thats been over 45 years ago! And now I see a Cardiologist! How ironic. And yes people out there stole everything that wasn't chained down. But I didn't give up. Good people like the Cardio doctor gave me a lawn mower. Wish I lived close to the boy because I would GLADLY pay him to mow my yard.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

I love this kid and his parents and have never even met them.. When I was a kid in the sixties, I too mowed lawns, shoveled snow and did alright for myself. I can't remember the last time a kid offered to do either for me. Go get 'em son, you are on the right track. Work hard, don't whine. Pay your own way and you will be a success in life.

But lock that sucker up. There's a lot of scum out there that make a living taking advantage of hard workers. Don't get used to it, fight it and know you are doing the right thing.

I'm proud of you boy.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

A heart Dr. with a heart. Maybe the good Dr. could pitch in and help get the little guy a snowblower.
If he lived on the far eastern outskirts of Topeka I would hire him in a minute. I'm in my fifties now and my feet hurt...LOL.

Jean Robart 5 years, 6 months ago

Kudos and many thumbs up to Dr Dreiling

rocko1cat 5 years, 6 months ago

why is it that people always get bikes and money and so on stolen but when one kid loses a mower hundreds of people are pittying him and buying him new ones. my bike was stolen by probly the same guy and i found its seat in an ally and its handles at the side of a road.. i went 5 years without a bike but i dont get a new one or a news story

Darkstarr 5 years, 6 months ago

Why can't we just help one another ,and do the right thing . This is why we are living in such a cesspool today , because every one is so busy taking care of NUMBER 1 . I made one Phone call to Neil The owner of Fleetwood Mower !!! and i told him the story and he said he would have one ready in 30 min for him. So what's so wrong with Locals helping Locals . HMMMMMM !!!!! If it was a K U Student Hell the FBI Would be Involved. BTW My name is LORNE M SLAN !!!!!!!!!

Sarah Wallace 5 years, 6 months ago

Just watched Quinton mow his lawn with his new mower. He did a good job and I hope lots of people hire him this summer.

pace 5 years, 6 months ago

Good for the doctor. Good kid, wanting to work and having a plan. Bravo.

It is cheesy for some to put their political rant, to ride on this kid's dime. There are plenty of political stories to put your rant. It is cheesy and cheap to jump on this story with such bs. Ride your own dime, hitchhiking on the back of a kid and his lawnmower story is cheap and dishonest.

cabocrazed 5 years, 6 months ago

For anyone who knows Dr. Dreiling, he is a class act. One of nicest guys my family and I know.

jackpot 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks to Dr. Dreiling glad to see he got a lock for it too.

Clara Westphal 5 years, 6 months ago

Thank you to Dr. Dreilling. HIs gift is appreciated by the family.

Quinton is my great-grandson.

Clara Westphal 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks to all who offered to help Quinton. That was very generous of all of you.

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