“It wasn’t like she was going on a date or something. She really needed the shoes,” he said. “I couldn’t charge extra. I didn’t stay for the money. I did it from the heart.”
But Kate Lunny handed him a $50 tip — and a promise.
“When she wins, she is coming here to give you a hug,” Kate Lunny said of her daughter.
The repaired shoes made it back to Caroline Lunny 15 minutes before she was to board a motor coach to take her back to the arena for the night’s competition.
Three hours later, she was standing in her newly repaired shoes being crowed Miss Massachusetts 2014.
Last Friday, Caroline Lunny and her mother made good on their word. The grateful pageant winner who turns 23 this month delivered a hug and a heartfelt thanks to the man who kept her on her feet. They posed for photos with the now lucky pair of shoes and she even persuaded the generous cobbler to try on her sash.
“We did it ... we did it together,” she told Yaboujian. “You saved the day. I won because of my shoes.”
Caroline Lunny said she was so proud of herself for finding one pair of nude-colored patent shoes to match all her pageant outfits. She never imagined they might break.
“As soon as I put them on after he fixed them, I knew I was good to go,” she said. “They were solid. I can’t thank him enough.”
Kate Lunny said what impressed her most about Yaboujian was his willingness to help a total stranger.
“He didn’t know me from a hole in the wall,” she said. “He stayed for me. He is such a sweet gentleman and did such a good thing. He should be applauded. He’s just amazing.”
Caroline Lunny vowed to return to Andover one more time before she heads to Miss USA next June. Saying she’s not taking any chances, she will be bringing Yaboujian her pageant shoes to make sure they’ll hold in place.
“It truly is a real Cinderella story,” her mother said.