Jilted Bride Donates Reception to Seniors

(I missed this good-news story back in October.  It’s just too good not to share.)

Hundreds of senior citizens outside Chicago got an unexpected treat this past Halloween - a free party sponsored by a jilted bride.

Hundreds of senior citizens outside Chicago got an unexpected treat this past Halloween - a free party sponsored by a jilted bride.

Six days before Teanne Harris was to walk down the aisle, her fiancé called off the nuptials. And when Teanne and her mother went to the catering hall to cancel the reception, they were told their deposit was nonrefundable. That’s when Teanne noticed the Asbury Court Retirement Community across the street.

So instead of letting a Halloween-themed wedding reception go to waste, Teanne, 34, decided to move the party to the retirement home.  “I don’t think she knew anybody here, and we don’t get offers like that. So we were thrilled and so were our residents. It came out of the blue,” Mary Eichenfeld, the resident services director of the facility in Des Plaines, IL, told the New York Daily News.

More than 300 residents from the retirement home attended the party. Video from WBBM, the local CBS-TV station, showed seniors, some in masks, some in full costumes, including a cowboy and Raggedy Ann, dancing and enjoying swing music.

Teanne Harris put on a brave face and attended what should have been her wedding reception but declined to speak to reporters. Harris had her bridal bouquet placed in the retirement home’s chapel. “She’s an angel,” Eichenfeld told WBBM.  Ana Rojas, a resident of Asbury Court, praised Teanne’s generous donation.

Source: http://www.gnn.com

Thought for the Day

“Very little is needed to make a happy life.”

Marcus Aurelius


Man Lifts Car off Trapped Girl

A young girl is calling a neighbor a superhero because of what he did when she was trapped beneath a car. Nick Harris said he doesn’t know where he found the strength, but somehow he managed to lift a car off the 6-year-old girl last week, earning himself the title of Superman.  “I just think it’s a Christmas miracle,” Harris said.

Harris said he has tried time and again to recreate the surprising show of strength that he said surfaced when sheer instinct sent him running to the 6-year-old’s aid. “I don’t know how I did it. I’ve tried three or four times since then.”

Harris was dropping off his daughter at Eugene Field Elementary Friday morning when he saw a car back out of a driveway, pinning the girl under its tire. That girl turned out to be his daughter’s best friend. “I was expecting her to have crushed hips,” Harris said. “I’ve had broken toes, because a car just backed over my foot. And here this whole car was on top of her. I wasn’t expecting it to turn out as wonderful as it did.”

The first-grader was flown to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City by air ambulance, but didn’t have to stay long. “They all call me superman now,” Harris said. “I’m just a dad. I’m just a dad that was in the right place at the right time. And I was finally able to help and I did something good.”

To watch the KCTV video coverage visit http://www.kctv5.com/video/22003914/

Source: http://www.kctv5.com/news/22003146/detail.html


Military Brides Receive Free Gowns

One hundred brides-to-be, who are also active military personnel, or fiancées of service members, received a free designer wedding dress this past Monday from a bridal shop in Watertown, MA, as part of its G.I. Gown Giveaway event.

Vows bridal boutique teamed up with the United Services Organization to donate 300 wedding gowns as a way of saying thank you to men and women in uniform. The other 200 dresses will be given away over the next year, as requests come in.

“We really wanted to give something,” said Rick DeAngelo, who co-owns Vows with his wife, Leslie. “What can we do? We have wedding gowns. It feels small to us.” The DeAngelos said they chose December to have the giveaway because of the holidays and the number of deployments happening around this time. Melissa Deibert, who decided on the first gown she tried on, said the giveaway seemed too good to be true.

To watch the Fox News video coverage visit: http://www.gnn.com/article/military-brides-receive-free-wedding/807380

Teen Scientist’s Cancer Research Earns $40,000 Prize

“These kids will surely make an impact on our world as we know it.” -Siemens Foundation’s, Jennifer Harper Taylor

Marissa Suchyta, of South Barrington, is a seventeen-year-old senior at the University of Chicago lab school, who just received a third-place win in the nation’s premier high school science contest, the Siemens Competition. Marissa began the competition up against 1,500 of the nation’s top teen scientists and walked away with a $40,000 prize.

Marissa was honored for her research into how a protein called geminin, blocks DNA from replicating, which has implications in developing new treatments for diseases like cancer. Marissa also founded the first Midwest chapter of the American Cancer Society’s “High Schools Against Cancer” campaign, then began her own nonprofit that donates gift baskets to teen cancer patients at Chicago area hospitals.

Not only has Marissa made an impact in the science field, but she is also president of the Gavel Club, captain of the Forensics Team, captain of the Mock Trial Team and a member of the Model United Nations team. This year, she placed second at nationals in the National History Day Competition.  Marissa is also a competitive ballroom dancer, plays the violin and mandolin, and speaks fluent French. She hopes to attend Harvard, double major in neurobiology and molecular/cellular biology, and then become a neurosurgeon with a Ph.D. in molecular oncology.

Source: http://www.suntimes.com

16-Year-Old Girl Grants Elderly People Their Dying Wishes

Caitlin Crommett, 16, started Dream Catchers, a make-a-wish style project that helps those who are terminally ill.

Caitlin got the idea last year, after watching the movie “Patch Adams.” In it, Robin Williams plays a doctor who is all about making his patients happy. In one scene, he fills a wading pool with spaghetti for a dying woman to jump into. After thinking about the movie for a few weeks, Caitlin told her parents she wanted to try and grant the wishes of elderly people in hospice care. They weren’t surprised.

Caitlin’s parents had put away enough money to send her to JSerra, a Catholic high school in San Juan Capistrano. The cost is about $12,000 a year. However, Caitlin wanted to go to Tesoro High in Rancho Santa Margarita, where her friends were going. This meant that there was an extra $48,000.

Caitlin’s parents agreed to give her some of that money to grant wishes until she could raise some funds on her own. Caitlin came up with a name: Dream Catchers. She then came up with a make-a-wish-style form that she began handing out this summer to Hospice Care of the West nurses, asking that they pass them on to patients and their families.

The first form she got back was from the wife of a man named Bernie Klein. He was in a wheelchair and could no longer speak, but was aware of everything around him. Bernie had sailed his whole life, and his wife wrote that it would be so great to see him out sailing on the ocean one last time. Caitlin chartered the schooner Curlew out of Dana Point Harbor for $600. Bernie’s family insisted she come along. She made ham sandwiches for everyone and served them herself.

Over the summer, Caitlin visited a hospice patient named Pat Wahlstrom every Sunday. A social worker had suggested that she help Pat put together a slide show of her world travels to share with other residents at the assisted living home where Pat lived. Caitlin and Pat spent the summer sifting through boxes of slides of Greece, Japan and Russia. Pat would sit in a chair with a remote and click through her projector, telling Caitlin the stories behind each photo that appeared. Caitlin would take notes so that she could later narrate the slide show. They decided to do the entire slide show on Pat’s favorite trip: China. Caitlin made up fliers for the big day. “An armchair tour of China,” they read. “Explore China again with Pat!” Unfortunately, Pat didn’t make it to the showing.  But the experience and the timed shared was the true treasure. “She laughed a lot when she told me stories,” Caitlin says. “It was just really great to listen to her.”

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves. -James M. Barrie

To learn more about Dream Catchers, email Caitlin at caitlincc@cox.net.

Source: http://www.ocregister.com