Tag Archives: Make-A-Wish-Foundation

Good News Friday: The future Madam President speaks, and galvanizes the crowd. A Muslim-American delivers the best speech of convention. And a 6-year-old gets his wish to be a garbageman

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Hillary Clinton first appeared in the New York Times in 1969, for giving the valedictory speech at Wellesley College. She has been “famous” since at least 1991, when her husband started running for President. She has been criticized for longer, and more intensely, and for more things, than any American politician in history.

And yet, Thursday  night, in front of millions of viewers and a packed Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, her task was to “re-introduce” herself to Americans.

There can’t be more than 10 people in all 50 states that have no opinion on her: She is loved, she is hated, passionately on both sides. But Thursday night, after an incredibly moving and powerful evening of speeches, Hillary Clinton gave the most important speech of her career.

And I think she (mostly) nailed it. Look, she’s not a natural public speaker, she doesn’t have the charms or charisma of her husband. But on an incredibly historic night, that meant so much to so many millions of women across the country, she did what she had to do.

She told the story of her life, with help from a fantastic video introduction, and she talked about what she’ll do as President.

She shot fish in a barrel by using Donald Trump’s numerous disqualifications against him, with a great line being “a man who can be baited with a tweet, cannot be trusted with the nuclear weapon codes.”

But maybe most importantly in the grand scheme of world history, she showed that the first woman nominee for President by a major party is wholly and completely qualified for the job. She moved millions of women just by being there on stage Thursday night, showing once and for all that women are completely equal to men.

Hillary Clinton was not my pick, and I still have some reservations about her ideas and beliefs. But this election is the starkest, clearest and most obvious choice for President of my lifetime.

For the future of our country, she is the only sane choice in November. And I’ll be proud to help her make history.

**The most powerful, most important speech of the night Thursday was not given by Hillary Clinton, or Jennifer Granholm, who was sensational, nor even William Barber, the NAACP leader from North Carolina who had me out of my seat screaming “Hell yeah!” at the TV.

It was this, from Khizr Khan, whose soldier son, Humayun Khan was killed by a car bomb in Iraq. In direct, simple language, he destroys Donald Trump. “Have you ever read the Constitution? If not, I can lend you my copy.” (That part starts around 4:30 mark)

So, so, SO important to hear from American Muslims, who have been so criticized and abused since 9/11, and even more so by Trump.

He is a brave, powerful man who should be heard by every American.

**Finally today, I loved this story: 6-year-old Ethan Dean of California suffers from cystic fibrosis, and he asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation if he could be a garbageman for a day.

Much as other cities have done in the past, the city of Sacramento went all out for Ethan; watch this video and again, smile and realize how much good there is in the world.

Have a great weekend.

Good News Friday: A couple’s cancelled wedding leads to a huge feast for the homeless. A great story on a Make-A-Wish chapter in Arkansas. And Dan Barry on Mets-Cubs, written in 1908 style

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And a Happy Friday to you! Lots of good stuff to share with you today, as I try to remember if yesterday’s pointless and inane Benghazi hearing was the 11th or 12th time the GOP House has investigated this…

First up, this story went viral this week and deservedly so, but just in case you missed it, wanted to share it here. An engaged couple in Sacramento called off their engagement right before their wedding, when it was too late to cancel the catering and the reception and all that good stuff.

So the bride’s mother, Kari Duane, said that rather than cancel the reception, they invited Sacramento’s homeless for a once in a lifetime meal Saturday at the Citizen Hotel, one of the city’s finest venues.

From this AP story: “Duane said her 27-year-old daughter called her Monday to tell her she and her fiance had decided not go through with the wedding. Soon after, the family decided to share the nonrefundable event with the less fortunate.

“Even though my husband and I were feeling very sad for our daughter, it was heartwarming to see so many people be there and enjoy a meal,” Duane said.

A wonderful gesture. Clearly Mr. and Mrs. Duane have raised their daughter right.

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**Next up, “60 Minutes” did a story this week on one of my all-time favorite organizations, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It’s such a simple premise: Send incredibly sick children somewhere they’ve always wanted to go, to meet someone famous or have an adventure.

The story focused on one chapter in Arkansas, in a rural community where families have very little money to spare, but give so much to this wonderful cause. (Warning: The end of the story is a bit of a gut punch.)

So many good people in the world, aching to do good.

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**Finally today, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy it when newspapers do stuff like this, just to break up the monotony, be creative, and have some fun.

The Chicago Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908. In getting swept by the Mets Wednesday night, it was assured that streak will live on.

So Dan Barry, the immensely gifted New York Times writer, decided to pen a column about the game written entirely in 1908 sportswriter language.

We get “smote,” we get “Bunyan-esque,” and we get “twirler,” along with SO many other fantastic turns of phrase. And check out the old-school page design (above) as well.

So, so good. Read, laugh and enjoy.

Two stories of warm-hearted Grandmas. And a 5-year-old leukemia patient gets his Batman wish

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And a happy Good News Friday to you all; I’m happy because I’m going to my first Rangers game at the “new” Madison Square Garden on Sunday, where I’m sure I’ll be depressed after what I suspect will be the Jets letting me down Sunday afternoon.

But that’s two days away, let’s focus on the good. And on two great stories involving Grandmas, who really never get the credit they’re due.

First, once again “CBS Sunday Morning” comes through with a heartwarming story. An 81-year-old grandmother named SuEllen Fried of Prairie Village, Kan.,who for the past three decades has been leading a support group and lending plenty of support herself, to prisoners at Lansing Correctional Facility.

Fried runs a program called “Reaching Out from Within,” helping prisoners learn to be kinder toward one another, and trying to change their outlook on life.

You may think it’s a hopeless task, but this stat from the story blew me away: While the normal prisoner recidivism rate is 50 percent, inmates who go through Sue’s program only return to prison 10 percent of the time.

It’s a beautiful story and yet more evidence that the neanderthal notion of “locking them up and throwing away the key,” without offering supports and a way out, is just so, so wrong.

You go, Grandma.

**The second Grandma story involves Florida Marlins rookie pitching sensation Jose Fernandez and his grandma (I actually saw Fernandez pitch in high school in Florida, and he was a man among boys).

Fernandez is from Cuba, and he hadn’t been able to see his grandmother for the past five years, since he left the country for Florida.

Well, with the help of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (who rarely gets any praise, nor deserves any), Fernandez got to see his Grandma recently. Check out the video here; it gets really good around the 2:45 mark, but the whole thing is terrific.

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**Finally today, this story is wonderful on a few different levels. A 5-year-old boy with leukemia named Miles loves Batman, and his Make-A-Wish Foundation wish was to become BatKid.

And now the entire city of San Francisco today is helping Miles’ wish come true. Check out these awesome details from this story:

“(Today) a breaking news story will appear on TV in San Francisco. The police chief will be asking if anyone knows where Batkid is because he needs his help to solve a crime and “bringing the bad guys to justice,” Make-a-Wish said in a statement.

“Miles’ day will then include rescuing a damsel in distress tied up across the Hyde Street cable car line and capturing the Puzzler in the act of robbing a downtown vault. As Batkid eats his lunch at Burger Bar, he’ll get a special message from the chief telling him to go to the window where he’ll look out over Union Square and see a huge group of volunteers jumping up and down and asking for his help.

A villain will be kidnapping a famous San Francisco mascot and Batkid will rush to the rescue. His last stop will be City Hall, where the mayor and police chief will thank him and present him with a key to the city and a crowd will be cheering him on.”

I mean, can you believe the lengths this city is going to? Thousands of people are coming out to help make one sick little boy’s dreams come true.

How could you not be an optimist about our world after reading that?