Skip to main content

West Jordan Journal

Nine-year-old Opens Business

Aug 04, 2016 02:51PM ● By Tori LaRue

Nathan Glad cuts the ceremonial ribbon at the grand opening of his hot dog stand. Mascot Miracles, an Eagle Scout and community members worked together to bring about the event. –Melissa Worthen

By Tori La Rue | [email protected]

West Jordan, Utah - When 9-year-old Nathan Glad told his mother, Rachel Glad, he was planning to move out at 12 and open a hot dog stand, she posted about it on Facebook, not knowing that community members and the Mascot Miracles Foundation would pull together to help his business come to life.

Although Nathan suffers from a rare brittle bone disease, osteogenesis imperfecta type 2, and is small in size, he is “always doing big things,” according to his mother. He’s published a book that’s been turned into a play and traveled around the country.

“This is just another of those examples where community just pulls together and helps a little kid make waves,” Rachel said.

On July 7, Nathan opened his concession stand, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, at Copper Hills High School with an official ribbon cutting ceremony by the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce. The Mascot Miracles Foundation, a nonprofit whose purpose is to provide fun activities for children with severe and terminal illnesses, set up a movie night at the school, so families involved in the foundation and other community members could purchase hot dogs at Nathan’s stand before the show. The foundation invited more than 1,000 people to the event.

When asked how it felt to be in business Nathan threw his hands into the air, almost jumping out of his motorized wheelchair, and said, “Amazing,” adding that he was sure to sell at least 200 hot dogs which would help him save up to buy a house.

“I think the only problem is that you’re not quite excited enough,” West Jordan City Council Member Zach Jacob said, teasing the 9-year-old entrepreneur.

“No, I’m a little too much excited,” Nathan rebuttled. “I’m too excited!”

Nathan handed hot dogs to the hundreds of customers who arrived at his stand, asking them if they’d like to try their hotdog “Nathan Style,” the way he prefers his hot dogs.  

“It’s a hotdog and no bun and a blob of ketchup,” Nathan explained to inquiring customers.

Nathan’s guests ranged from supportive community members to other children with severe and terminal illnesses to mascots from local sports teams who came as part of the Mascot Miracles Foundation.

“I don’t really understand it, but when these kids see the mascots, it like they are in a different place,” said Rich Ellis, Mascot Miracles founder. “It takes them to a fantasy world where they can just forget about what they are going through and have a make-believe place that can give them a happier sense of reality.

“We must be doing something right because, you couldn’t have wiped the smile off of Nathan’s face when they pulled out that hot dog stand if you wanted to.”

Nathan’s excitement made all the logistical work that went into the movie night worth it, said Daylynn Dutson, a Copper Hills Junior. Daylynn teamed up with the foundation to get the hot dog stand and movie night rolling as his Eagle Scout Project.

As a neighbor of Ellis, Daylynn saw the good work the foundation was doing and asked to help. He rounded up donations from local businesses and community members, getting a Coke trailer, movie rights, hot dogs, condiments and hot dog buns for the event.

“I think it’s incredible that Nathan’s little dream can become an Eagle Project for someone and become an activity that were families who don’t get to go out as often, can come and enjoy an activity together,” Rachel said. “All these people are coming out to see him and show him that they love him. I just think it is absolutely amazing.”

In the interest of journalistic transparency, the West Jordan Journal and the Taylorsville Journal would like to state: Mike Worthen, who helped to create the hotdog stand for Nathan Glad, is related to Melissa Worthen, who works in our ad department.