DENVER – A Hurricane Dorian evacuee is in Colorado and a local CEO is sharing the story of her journey to get here.
The encounter started when Denver-based RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos was flying home from Florida on Thursday.
“That's when I'm like, 'Time to work. I get four hours here.' That is valuable time to a traveling business person," Contos said.
But then he noticed the older woman sitting next to him on the plane was clearly not used to flying.
“I listened to her. She said the same thing again. I said, 'Hmm,' and closed my laptop. That can wait. She needs help," Contos said.
Contos learned the woman’s name was Lorraine. She was leaving Florida to escape the hurricane, but she didn’t remember much else.
“I go, 'Why you going to Denver?' She goes, 'The storm's coming.' I said, 'OK... do you have family in Denver?' She goes, 'I don't know'," Contos said, adding that the woman could not remember who dropped her off in Florida or who was picking her up in Denver.
Recognizing she was lonely and needed someone to listen to her, Contos put his laptop away and spent the entire flight engaging with his new friend.
“I wanted to take her mind off the turbulence. I said, 'Your friends are going to think you're a rebel for kind of getting out of there.' She laughed," Contos said.
Service before self is nothing new to this former Marine and law enforcement officer. He made sure Lorraine had the right people waiting for her at the gate when they landed in Denver.
Contos shared this story on his Facebook page as a call to action.
“I thought people needed to hear about people in need. They're everywhere... there's always something you can do for people around you. You have to watch for it, listen for it. You have to ask good questions and do something when you hear the right answers," he said.
He said at first, it made him sad, but he got to help Lorraine. And in the end, she made his day.
“We lifted each other up," Contos said.