An intellectual disability did not prevent Joseph McFarland’s immense charisma and popularity from earning him the symbolic title of “mayor” of Belfast and a PlayStation 5.
In a recent gathering at the Belfast Market, the owner and employees of the store presented McFarland, 40, with the gift and a sash declaring his newly proclaimed title.
McFarland has been a well-known fixture in the Belfast community, and his welcoming personality has endeared him to locals and visitors alike.
“We decided to hold a get-together to call him ‘mayor’ because everybody knows him, and he’s the welcome wagon in the store,” said Belfast Market employee Amber Frazer. “He opens and closes the door for everybody and helps us stock, so we wanted to do something nice for him.”
Store owner Jeff Gorman, along with Amber and other store employees Stephanie Frazer, Garrett Frazer and Jamie Garrison, decided to raise money for the PlayStation and hold the event to recognize McFarland because of what he means to the community.
“It’s been a crazy last two years, and we’ve got a good community out here, and we all love Joe, and we’re glad he’s part of our community,” said Frazer.
McFarland has had his eye on obtaining one of the coveted PlayStations for some time. “He’s been talking about it since they came out around last year, and we all know how hard they have been to come by,” said Frazer.
A number of out-of-state hunters who visit the store each year are well acquainted with McFarland. “They love him, so there were quite a few of them who gave us some nice donations for the PlayStation, and they normally bring in Bengals gear,” said Frazer. “They take care of him.”
The staff at the store also talked to local residents to drum up donations for the gift. The group raised more than $850. “I think we got the PlayStation 5 for $700, and with the extra we’re going to try to get him some games and probably Bengals attire to go with it,” said Frazer.
Following the event, McFarland has decided he would like a shirt announcing his status as “mayor.”
“He’s always here day in and day out for us on the days he’s not at his workshop, and he’s always going to put a smile on your face talking about sports,” said Frazer. “He absolutely loves the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cincinnati Reds.”
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.