He was accidentally invited to a stranger's bachelor party. GoFundMe is helping him attend
It started with a mistake.
Will Novak got an email on Monday from an address and name he did not know. It was an invite to a bachelor party in Vermont. Novak lives in Mesa, Arizona.
That email led to a GoFundMe to attend the mystery wedding, which raised more than $1,200 in just a day.
The details of the party had piqued Novak's curiosity. Ridiculous 1980s attire: Skiing tickets. Specialized shirts. Two days of beer and food out in the mountains all to celebrate a guy named Angelo who was tying the knot.
Novak emailed back, saying that he didn't know Angelo, and that Vermont is a major trek for someone from Arizona.
His answer: "F--king count me in!"
To Novak's surprise, the person who sent the email replied with the same energy.
"We agree that your timely response may have been one of (if not the best) responses to an e-mail that has ever been sent," wrote one of the party planners. "And we insist on you coming, this would surely make Angelos day."
'Let's do it'
Novak told The Republic his initial email was a joke. But he was instantly on board once he got the email with an OK to attend.
“Let’s go. Let’s do it,” Novak said. ”These guys obviously have a sense of adventure and what are strangers other than best friends that you haven’t met yet?”
The email's sender also laid out all of the logistics of the trip, including how Novak would be picked up from the airport and how much of the travel costs the Vermont crew would be willing to cover, according to Novak's GoFundMe description.
Novak, who works in the city of Mesa's economic development department, realized that with car payments, a 10-month old baby and other responsibilities, the trip would be a tough stretch, he said.
So, on Thursday, he set up the GoFundMe titled, "Help me go to the bachelor party of a stranger."
And people did help him. It took a few hours to reach the $750 goal, and the trip was on.
“A bunch of people had suggested to me, 'Hey, do a GoFundMe,'" he said. "And I thought, ‘Oh, this will never work.' And then a few hours later I had more money than I needed.”
Novak said he'd keep the fund open until he leaves next Friday, and the extra money would go toward Angelo's favorite charity or his honeymoon.
Challenges to limbs and liver
Angelo doesn't even know a complete stranger has joined the party, Novak said.
“He’s going to be surprised because he saw my initial response email but then his friends wisely took him out of the loop on the rest of it," he said. “He has no idea this is actually going down.”
But Novak has been communicating with the Bill Novak, the guy who he said was supposed to receive the email.
Bill, who Novak said "seems really cool," was the final $40 donation that fulfilled the fundraising goal, he said.
Novak plans to fly into Boston, rent "a sweet minivan" and drive all the way to the cabin in the mountains to surprise Angelo, documenting the whole thing through Instagram stories.
From there, he said, they'll party on, as his fundraisers intended.
“They did say this was going to be a hard weekend for my liver," he said. "I’m not really a drinker, so I hope that doesn’t let them down but I’ll party hard nonetheless.”
There will also be a lot of skiing. He's not good at skiing, he said.
“I’ve gone skiing once in my life," he said. "I could tumble down the mountain to my death. We’ll see … the city of Mesa provides excellent health insurance.”
Novak said his wife was on board with him taking the trip; she's even lending him her selfie stick.
“She’s one of the reasons I love my life — she’s got a great sense of adventure and she’s happy to be rid of me for a weekend at no cost to us.”
People who are supporting Novak's adventure should keep an eye on his Instagram page from Jan. 18 to Jan. 20 as he meets complete strangers from thousands of miles away.
He recently tweeted that his flights and rental cars have been booked for "#angelosbachelorparty," while also plugging for mayoral candidate Kate Gallego.
“If it looks like I’ll be murdered or chopped to bits please call 911 for me,” he said jokingly, for those spectating.
All he knows so far about this group of gentlemen is that they're fans of Alf, per their email which included a picture of the character, he said.
“If these guys like Alf, they’re good enough for me.”