There are no lifeguards at Ocean Beach because there shouldn’t be any swimming in that churn of frigid fast-breaking waves that can pull you under so fast that nearby beachcombers would never know it happened.
The moment surfer Tony Barbero spotted a flash of red t-shirt and a boy floundering in the icy water, he knew the kid was in big trouble.
Barbero, a 17-year-old high school student and firefighter’s son, powered through the waves, grabbed the boy and pulled him up on his surfboard. He rescued that boy on Wednesday and brought him to shore on his board, then turned to see the kid’s uncle bobbing face down in the waves. He left his board, dove back into the sea and swam out to pull in the uncle, unconscious and struggling for life.
Barbero is an authentic hero – and that’s not a term to be used lightly. He’s the ordinary guy, suddenly thrown into a life-and-death moment, who did everything right … and more.
“I wasn’t going to let that happen,” said Barbero, “Not on my watch.” Read the complete story here.
Photo caption: S.F. fire Capt. Joe Barbero puts his jacket on his son, Tony, who rescued two people Wednesday at Ocean Beach. Photo: Beck Diefenbach, Special To The Chronicle
Kids these days are obsessed with rainbow looms, but one kid turned his obsession into a way to raise money for a good cause. Ten-year-old Graham Fowler, who suffers from a rare form of skin cancer, began weaving bracelets to pass the time while driving to doctors’ visits.
But after the Minnesota grade schooler posted a picture of his work on Facebook, and someone asked if they could buy one, he had a brilliant idea. Graham’s sister helped him start a Facebook page, Graham’s Gift, where he could sell his bracelets to raise money for cancer research. And since October he has raised close to $10,000 from about 8,000 bracelets. Each bracelet sells for $1 and always features a special yellow bead, symbolizing child cancer researchAll the proceeds go to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Said Graham, “I want to do this so that kids can get better.” So simple, but so well said.
Megan Ford, whose stubborn leukemia is blasted every Friday with chemotherapy, jumped at the chance to receive a song made especially for her.
The organization called “Songs of Love” called upon five middle-aged musicians who volunteer to write songs for very sick children like the young girl from Des Moines, Iowa.
The songs serve as medicine for the children but also for the aging men who create the songs. The songs, written to make the kids feel “important”, incorporate special characteristics they have revealed about their favorite hobbies, people or places.
For more information on how to donate to Songs of Love or produce one, go to songsoflove.org.
A female soldier who befriended a heroic bomb-hunting dog in Afghanistan tracked down her comrade and gave him a new home after he became too timid to serve on the front lines.
Angie McDonnell a reservist who served in war-torn Helmand province as a medic, became ‘best friends’ with four-year-old Vidar while the two were based at Camp Bastion.
The pair were inseparable during their months of joint service, and would go on runs together and play in the dusty desert between their regular duties.
Vidar stayed in Afghanistan after McDonnelf finished her tour.
But she later heard her canine friend was experiencing the PTSD-like symptoms.
She also heard that his eyes were failing, making it unlikely he would be able to return to his former heroic work.
Mrs McDonnell was eventually able to track Vidar down to a training camp in Germany, from which she was able to arrange for her companion to be sent home. He now lives a happy retirement with her in Barry, South Wales.
When Miami Marlins fan Cristhian Reyes lost his wallet during the team’s Opening Day game against the Colorado Rockies last Thursday, he thought for sure he’d never see it again. But he was definitely wrong.
A good samaritan found the wallet at the game, and since it had Reyes’ high school ID in it, brought it in and left it at the school’s front desk. But that’s not the best part. When Reyes got his wallet back he found an extra $20 inside, along with a note that read, “I added $20 to it so you know the world is a great place. Do me a favor and when you get the chance, do something nice for someone else.”
The note was unsigned, but Reyes wants whoever returned the wallet to know he plans to uphold his end of the bargain. “I just want to thank him for giving me back my wallet,” Reyes said. “Whenever I can, I’ll return that favor that they asked for.”
Meals on Wheels programs and their volunteers deliver hot meals daily to thousands of elderly people nationwide. Sometimes the food gets shared with the pets in the home.
San Diego’s “Animeals” program addresses that problem by providing free pet food to owners who can’t afford it otherwise.
“We feed 250 animals every week,” said a spokesperson.
Doing a search on “Animeals” in Google reveals that many programs like this have been serving pets and their owners in other regions of the country too. The mission is to feed as many hungry pets as possible. A great concept and certainly a sunshine story.
Members of the Dansville Rotary Club have pledged $25,000 to the Mary Saunders Beiermann Emergency Department project at Noyes Health, Dansville.
The money will be contributed in annual donations of $5,000. The first installment was recognized March 25.
“Rotary is very big on supporting the community and we think the hospital is a big part of the community,” said Jenni Leuzzi, co-president-elect of Dansville Rotary.
Dansville Rotary President Christine Gunn and Jon Shay, co-president-elect of Dansville Rotary mades the presentation to Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard as other members of the Rotary Club gathered around.
The $7.3 million emergency department expansion will provide space, privacy and new technology. The new 10,000 square foot department will replace the facility’s current 3,000 square foot emergency department which opened in 1972.
“It’s a beautiful building,” said Rich Tyler, project manager for Pike Construction Management, which is overseeing the project.
“When you are done with a project and the brick matches the old brick and the new building looks like it’s always been there, then you’ve hit a home run — and I think this one does that.”
The new facility will feature eight emergency rooms large enough to accommodate a patient’s family along with medical staff treating the patient, telemedicine capability and a five-bay observation unit converted from the existing emergency department. The new department will also include work space for emergency medical services personnel who transport patients to the hospital. The existing facility does not have a dedicated space for emergency medical technicians.
The project is scheduled to be completed this summer.
My granddaughter Madison Spencer is in the 3rd grade at Wayland-Cohocton Central School. Her birthday is today April 4th. When her mom asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said that she really didn’t need anything, so she only wanted money. When her mom asked her what she needed money for? Madison answered nothing for myself. Madison plans on donating all of her birthday money to the Galisano Children s Hospital.
When Madison was only 6 weeks old she had to have surgery to repair Pyloric Stenosis. She feels that if they hadn’t taken such good care of her that she might not be here today. She brought tears to her mother eyes.
We are so proud of our Birthday Girl. Happy Birthday Madison Avery Spencer
For most high schoolers, getting into an Ivy League college would be a miracle, but for one Long Island student it was a piece of cake. In fact, he didn’t just get into one, he got into all eight.
Seventeen-year-old Kwasi Enin, a senior at William Floyd High School in Mastic who scored in the 99th percentile on his SATs, applied to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia, but didn’t expect such a rousing response.
“By applying to all eight, I figured it would better the chances of getting into one,” he said.
And getting into an Ivy League college is no easy feat, with less than 9% of applicants receiving acceptances from the prestigious universities. So imagine everyone’s shock when Kwasi got into every one of them (as well as Duke, and SUNYs Stony Brook, Geneseo and Binghamton).
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my 15 years as a high school counselor,” said Nancy Winkler, Kwasi’s guidance counselor. “He’s going to be a leader in whatever he chooses.” And Kwasi, who says he’s leaning towards Yale, has already set a huge goal for his future.
“I’m thinking of being a cardiologist or neurologist,” he said. “A doctor is a community leader, a protector, someone who people turn to … when they need help.”