Heroes Of The Week! (The Dynamic Duo Edition)

reddit: the front page of the internet | Batman illustration, Robin comics, Batman robin

For this week’s episode, I’ve invited Frank “Beach Walks” Angle to ride shotgun with me as we deliver up a roster of righteousness. We’re still trying to figure out who’s Batman and who’s Robin (I’m Batman), but in the meantime, let’s just say we have a sweet supply of feel good coming at ya. And of course, seeing as how Cincy is sooooo glass half full (must be all those refreshing walks of his), Imma be peach positive in all my entries. This duo rocks!

Now to our heroes . . .

My Project: Goldie Hawn and The Hawn Foundation - NBC News

Goldie Hawn is proving once again that beauty is so much more than skin deep.

For the last sixteen years, Hawn’s MINDUP Program has been helping students deal with anxiety, stress, anger and depression. Schools that have instituted her mindfulness program have seen a dramatic improvement in the mental health of their students and the numbers ain’t lying: 86% percent of users say the program has helped them achieve more positive outcomes while 83% say it has led to an improvement in their social skills.

And now Hawn has introduced a way for these children to cope with the isolation and uncertainty that has come with a global pandemic. She’s partnered up with Insight Timer- a meditation app- to offer five minute exercises called “brain breaks” that help the kids maintain focus while alleviating their stress levels.

“During this time of uncertainty, children are affected negatively emotionally and are facing symptoms of stress and anxiety,” says Hawn, the 74-year-old founder of MindUP. “Our program helps address these issues by creating mental fitness and emotional stability.”

For one thing, the girl is making seventy four the new Wow! But more important to her, and to the world around her, is the positive difference she is making every day. In a world of superficial, there do in fact exist superheroes.

Remember back in the early days of this pandemic when people were singing in their windows and baking breads and learning to sew again for the very first time? Well, Scott McKenzie and Jeremy Uhrich- both of whom hail from Huntingdon, Pa.- baked cookies from scratch. This coping mechanism led to a bake-off when Ulrich read McKenzie’s post on Facebook.

The two men invited local front line workers to be the judges as a thank you for all their hard work and dedication.

Well, the event was such a success that the two decided to start up a Facebook page called “Cookies for Caregivers”. The group currently has 299 members the group and has delivered more than 15,000 cookies and cakes to hospital staff, grocery stores and fire departments. Uhrich’s father even got to baking creating his own group in Hershey, Pa.

“There aren’t enough people to thank,” McKenzie said. “Kindness doesn’t have an expiration date.”

So the next time someone pulls out the old standard about how the cookie crumbles? Remind that as to why this isn’t necessarily a bad thing after all.

A New Jersey restaurant with a coronavirus scare stayed open because of the generosity of a neighboring barbershop - CNN

Not everyone likes to play by the rules of this pandemic, so it’s important to note that places such as the Würstbar eatery in Jersey City, New Jersey abide. Even when faced with the daunting prospect of having to close its doors for good, these guys still did the right thing when one of their workers was exposed to the virus recently. They shut down, together. The health and safety of their staff was more important to these owners than money. Imagine that? Giving a damn about people more than your bottom line.

But no good deed goes unnoticed and so when the workers at Virile Barber Shop got word of the restaurant’s plight, they decided to step in and keep the lights on.

“The weather is too nice out to let our neighbors at Würstbar stay closed!” Virile Barber Shop owner Andre Fersa posted. “I’ve taken over the bar and am selling PRETZELS, beer, wine and cider for outdoor seating only. Come on by and support this great staff.”

No whining about medical conditions or how their rights had been violated. Just human beings making the very best of a bad situation in these trying times.

That’s how you define humanity.

And now Imma kick it over to Cincy, who is going to send y’all into the weekend with a selection of stories that will fill your tank with inspiration. Take it away Frank.

Thanks, Marco for the opportunity to co-anchor this edition of Heroes. I’m starting with a young kid in Gaithersburg, Maryland – Cavanaugh Bell – a second grader that gives humanity hope. He started Operation Magic because he thinks big. So big, I wonder what is next. So big, he makes me feel small.

Last week you featured a Cincinnati story about a man adopting not one, but five kids. This week we are crossing the Ohio River to the Kentucky side. Campbell County is where we find Tricia Verst, a high school freshman with a rare chromosomal disorder. She wanted to run cross country. Unsure how to motivate Tricia, coach Toni McKee got an idea, and that’s when senior Sydney McKinney stepped up. Well, here’s the story.

Image property of WXIX television Cincinnati, Ohio

This one is my no-brainer for the week. This story is about 140.6 miles: swimming 2.4 miles, biking riding 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles … yes, one after another. I have volunteered to dance with those with Down Syndrome. One of the reasons it is so rewarding is that many DS people are so positive and appreciative. This story is about Chris Nikic of Maitland, Florida, but a tip of the cap to Dan Grieb, who was with Chris the entire 140.6 miles.

Yes, to my surprise, I’m leading you out with Britney Spears – well – no really – but a cover of one of her songs.


61 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week! (The Dynamic Duo Edition)

  1. So heartwarming! Thank you for the day brightener B and F! I could use some of those homemade cookies here at today. I have been reading about Chris from Maitland , that’s the real stuff.
    Love the video too F. Thank you both!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a friend who taught elementary school for a few years before leaving the profession to have a family, write, and do all sorts of other things. Anyway, when she taught elementary school, she decided she wanted to include some yoga and meditation exercises in each day for her students. The charter school organization she worked for was not exactly supportive of the idea. It’s just kind of amazing to me — yoga and meditation aren’t going to hurt anybody or anything, but there is a chance that they could actually help children get through the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You guys both bring tears of happiness to my heart. Love the quote: “Kindness doesn’t have an expiration date” and it’s definitely at work with the Cavanaugh Bell story. What an amazing kid. Maybe there’s hope for the future yet. Blessings to the WürstBar gang and the barber shop clan who stepped in for them with best wishes to all but especially to the employee who tested positive. Hope there’s a full recovery in that ongoing story.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Batman and Robin,

    What a dynamic duo – far as I can tell… lemme explain why…

    Goldie is golden. The woman is like a ray of sunshine no matter where she goes. That infection laugh and genuine personality shine through. Of course, she would start something so positive. Why it’s not part of every school’s curriculum is beyond me. Seventy-four? Get outta here!

    Seems like so long ago since flour was harder to find than panned gold. I love that these two men started a movement out of boredom. And who doesn’t love cookies? Kindness does not have an expiration date – that should be made into a poster.

    Now that is more than being neighbourly! That is genuine humanity right there. And I’m so glad you give us a blurb of the story because I can’t access Washington Post stories as I am not subscribed (only so many you can subscribe to, yanno?)

    And now onto your stories, Frank. I gots me a problem. Two out of the three give me the video unavailable. Effing YouTube/country restriction rules… So… What did Cavanaugh Bell do?

    And what did Chris Nikic and Dan Grieb do? I know it involves a triathlon and there is Downs involved but…

    What a beautiful story the Tricia/Sydney one is. Buddies in running turning into a long-lasting friendship.

    Interesting song choice, Frank. I like this version.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Q

      It makes no sense that it’s not a part of the curriculum. Especially when you consider the need for such a thing in every school. Not most schools. Every school.

      Who knows? Maybe they’ll make a movie about it. A bake off on Facebook that turns into a national phenomenon. And let’s face it, baking has been one of the standards throughout this pandemic, so hey, why not?

      To step up and keep the doors of a business open WHILE still running your own business . . . that is impressive in any time, but inside the time we’re living through, it’s even more so. But it never happens if not for the staff buying in as well, which they did. Wow.

      It’s the story of a 2nd grader who is busy changing the world. Bullied in pre-school, it gave him the impetus to help others. So he raised thirty six thousand dollars to help send food and clothing to the Pine Ridge Reservation, one of the poorest communities in the nation. And he didn’t stop there. His work has drawn the attention of Trump, and he even got face time with Kamala Harris.

      I’ll let Frank tell you about Chris and Dan since I already covered Cavanaugh.

      And YES . . I love the Tricia and Sydney story. It has inspired me to run again. Some day. 😉

      Frank knows his tunes.


      Liked by 1 person

      • It doesn’t. I’ve read where some schools are using meditation as a way to deal with whatever issues the kids are having. This is not a bad thing. Mindfulness, meditation, taught young become such brilliant tools in life.

        It wouldn’t surprise me, if they did. Make a movie, that is. Actually, I am half-expecting a slew of books and movies on the pandemic – baking is sure to have a part.

        That is beautifully impressive! Wow squared.

        Oh wow. What an amazing kid! Damn. Woulda been nice to see the video. Fucking YT.

        Okay then. I shall wait for Frank 😉

        I’m thinking of going for a run myself today. Gonna go see where my new job is and if it’s plausible for me to walk it back and forth at least a few times per week.

        He does.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Coping mechanisms are utilized, but so often it’s from the flip side, AFTER some bad shit has already gone down. Makes no sense to me, but it is in keeping with society.

          A Pandemic Cookbook. You could definitely write one. 😉

          Wow squared indeed!

          He is the most likeable kid. To think he’s been to so many different places in his head in so short a time. And he came back with compassion. A leader.

          I don’t want to step on his toes. He needs them for his ball room dancing.

          Not today for me. Today is CHILL meeting AX. I probably won’t even get my 10 k steps goal today. But that’s alright, because I plan on kicking it next week.

          I dig this version very much.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Exactly! And no, it makes zero sense. One would think society would be open to change. Buahaha! Sorry… what am I thinking?

            Uh huh. I was actually contemplating it after a few suggested I should!

            Man.. I have to find a video or more of the story.

            Yanno what? I am all talk and no action today. Looks like I’ll be doing it tomorrow. I fell into the CHILLAX mode myself. Actually, never got out of it, nor do I intend to. Anymore.

            It’s a really nice version.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Nope. Society is too busy looking at ways to combat this and ways to combat that, and when given a way . . they choose to ignore it.

            Well, it’s there to be written.

            It’s definitely a video you needs to find. The kid is such a pleasant little soul. Doing his magic.

            Haha! I feel as if my body is speaking to me, and more specifically that knot in my back is speaking to me. So not even the toners, not today.

            It is.


    • Dale,

      I know you like to examine all the stories. I see Marc has taken care of Cavanaugh. He’s something. Hope you can see this article from the Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/10/05/bully-cavanaugh-bell-food-pantry-indian-reservation/ … if not, there are other articles on him.

      Chris is special needs – but he’s strong enough to complete an Iron Man competition. Dan, an Ironman participant, was with him the entire 140+ miles. A great story. Here’s a USA Today story about him. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2020/11/09/nikic-makes-history-ironman-finish/6221745002/

      Liked by 1 person

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