KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The year 2020 brought a number of surprises but for Church Hill resident, Jessica Burke, it brought the best gift of all, her second son, Hayes Conley.
However, how Hayes entered the world was anything but expected. While en route to the hospital, she realized time was running out and they wouldn’t make it in time.
Burke and her partner pulled over and welcomed their baby boy into the world in the Weigel’s parking lot in Kingsport.
News Channel 11’s Kelly Grosfield reported on the birth back in November. The story caught the attention of officials at Weigel’s corporate which prompted them to do something special for baby Hayes.
Daphe Berry, an employee with Weigel’s had the idea of gifting Hayes an embroidered Weigel’s baby blanket and a year’s supply of milk from their dairy.
When she brought the idea to their executives, they were all for it. Kurt Weigel, the recruiting manager for Weigel’s said it was the least their company could do.
“We’re just glad to play a small role in this and we’re just so excited he’s healthy and doing great and mom is doing great and everything turned out fine so we’re excited,” said Weigel.
Shocked and excited, Burke met with Berry, Weigel, and Douglas Rouch, a plant manager at Weigel’s Dairy, met in the Weigel’s parking lot with gifts in hand and stories to share. Burke said the gifts were great and that she was very thankful they chose to honor Hayes.
“I’m big on monograms and keeping track of all of their baby books and pictures so getting something with Weigel’s on it is just something extra to remember this by,” said Burke.
Weigel said it was good news during a tough time and it’s something that’s never happened before in his history with the company, but it’s something that will never be forgotten.
“We try to do what we can to be ambassadors to the community and help out with things and for him to know us like that, it’s great and we appreciate it and it’s a great honor for us,” said Weigel.
Now, baby Hayes is apart of not just one family, but two.
“Weigel’s is such a unique place to work, it’s like a big family and that’s why this was a special occasion because we’re welcoming someone new into the family,” said Rouch.
Burke said Weigel’s will always play a big role in baby hayes’ life. “Ever since I had him here, we said that we were going to do a Weigel’s first birthday theme and maybe even do it in the parking lot in a tent if they let us, it’d be hilarious,” said Burke.