Neighbors Plan Birthday Surprise for Newport Man

NEWPORT, Maine (WABI) Many in the small town of Newport describe John Sprague or Johnny as someone who always says hello.

Ashley Mackenzie, a Newport Resident says, "He's just the friendliest guy. He's always got a smile on his face."

Steve Hanson, a Newport resident says, "He's just a super big hearted kind of guy."

Neighbors say you always see Johnny doing chores.

Hanson say,s "Can I mow your lawn, can I sweep your driveway, can I rake your leaves? And Johnny's the type of guy, he'd never want anybody to just do for him. He wanted to work, he wanted to earn it himself."

Mackenzie says, "He's always working hard and usually working to help somebody else."

Hanson says, "He's one of those people, the only thing he ever worries about is someone else."

Johnny has had a tough holiday, losing his mother and caretaker on Christmas Eve.

And with his birthday just days away, his friends and neighbors wanted to do something special for him

Laurie Bird, Organizer says, "It's called Operation Birthday Cards for Johnny."

Folks are dropping off and mailing birthday cards to be delivered to Johnny on his birthday.

He's even got a special delivery on the way from a lady living in the North Pole.

Bird says, "She grew up here in Newport, knew John real well and she said how about a new bike? She said we've got a bike up here that the locals use. It's got wide tires and it works great in the snow."

Folks are dropping off cards at Johnny's "office," a local convenience store called On The Run where he spends his lunch break chatting with his neighbors.

Mackenzie says, "I hope he knows how much this town appreciates him and loves him and I think if everybody were a little more like Johnny in that they always said hello, always had a smile on their face, and always worked hard I think this town would be a better place, this world would be a better place."

If you would like to mail Johnny a birthday card you can send it to:

John Sprague
C/O On the Run
81 Elm Street
Newport, ME 04953

They have also set up a go-fund-me page for John Sprague to help cover his mother's funeral costs at gofundme.com/johnny-sprague