The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 20, 1996 · Page 44
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 44

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 20, 1996
Page 44
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Next Saturday: 500 Milwaukee volunteers will winterize elderly people's houses - A Washington, D.C., American Legion auxiliary will collect household items and money for homeless veterans and their families What you should know • The sixth annual Make A Difference Day is next Saturday, Oct. 26. Nearly 1 million people are expected to participate. • You can join in, too. Just spend Oct. 26 doing something to help your community. Then send in the coupon on Page 6. • Qualify to receive $2,000. USA WEEKEND will award 10 entries $2,000 each for charity. Fifty honorable mention projects will receive $2,000 for charity from Paul Newman and his food company, Newman's Own. • Make A Difference Day, co-sponsored by local newspapers that carry USA WEEKEND, is in partnership with The Points of Light Foundation and local Volunteer Centers. Call 1-800416-3824 (in Washington, D.C., 202-223-9186, ext. 183). • National TV coverage, Page 6. • On the cover: Capt. Scott O'Grady with (from left) Katee Lee Staab, 12, Tiffany Blount, 8, Garrett Staab, 15, and Betina Blount, 7, stepsiblings from Clearfield, Utah. Next Saturday, with mom K.T. Blount, the kids will help the American Red Cross put together nursing packages for orphanages in Romania. •ONUNb Join Make A Difference Day judge Cristina Saralegui in a live auditorium. Details on Page 2. 1996 MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY JUDGES CAPT. SCOTT O'ORAOY (right) joins six others on our panel: NAOMI JUDO PAUL Spokeswoman, NEWMAN American Liver president, Foundation Newman's Own CRISTINA RICHARD SARALEQUI DREYFUS* International Co-founder, talk-show host LA. Works ROBERT K. MARCIA OOODWIN BUUARD President, CEO, Editor, President Points of Light and CEO, Foundation USA WEEKEND 'You can do so many good things on Make A Difference By Capt. Scott O'Grady Make A Difference Day judge Scott O'Grady has experienced firsthand the profound impact of helping someone in need. When his F-16 was shot down over Bosnia in June 1995, the U.S. Air Force captain ejected into the national spotlight. He survived in hostile territory for six nights on insects, grass and rainwater until his dramatic daylight rescue. Now a fighter pilot in the combat- ready 419th Fighter Wing of the Air Force Reserves, based in Salt Lake City, O'Grady, 30, makes a difference for children fighting life-threatening situations, such as cancer, or overcoming challenges, as in the Special Olympics. Here he tells why he also supports USA WEEKEND'S Make A Difference Day. M Y RESCUE SHOWS how just a little bit of volunteer time can make an incredible difference in someone's life. The pilot who found me, Capt. Thomas Hanford, had been flying all night and was finished with his scheduled time. But he had extra gas and could stay out another 10 to 20 minutes. He could have said, "OK, I'm going home" — he has a wife and a nice house, and he was tired. Instead, he made an extra effort to find me, which wasn't even his main mission or assigned task. Besides, everyone thought I was dead. When I heard him on the radio using my call sign, "Basher 52," I felt goosebumps all over, electricity rushing through me. I wanted to laugh and scream and cry and jump for joy, everything short of an Irish jig. I'm really happy he didn't go home. I promised myself that if I came out of Bosnia alive, I'd put more balance in my life: take better care of myself and do as much as I could for others. I think Make A Difference Day is great because it magnifies what you can do for others: You're not just one small local effort — you're part of changes in many communities throughout the entire nation. That's big. And it's very positive. Working together builds trust. That's how it works in the military. My rescue effort wasn't "Hey, it's Scott O'Grady down there" as much as "It's a fellow soldier." It's a mutual respect: You'd reach out a hand to anybody in the military community. You'd put your life on the line to help. It comes from a belief in who we are and what we stand for. You help others not because you feel obligated, but because that's what keeps our community webbed together. Sometimes in our daily rush we forget what we stand for as a community. We work long hours, cram in a personal relationship and figure that as soon as we buy that new house or new car we'll be happy. But that kind of happiness is always on the horizon. We're chasing the end of a rainbow we'll never be able to reach. On the ground in Bosnia, I realized helping others actually makes me happy. I should have known that: Almost everyone in my family has or had a service career. My dad's a doctor. His father was a police officer. My mom's father was a doctor; he practiced in the Brooklyn neighborhood in which he had grown up, where people who were unable to pay would bring by a loaf of bread. 'You help others not because you feel obligated, but because that's what keeps a community webbed together,' 70 New Yurk stutu lorruttiondl facilities next Saturday v\ill sponsor projects touisintJ on Muniburb uf Ciiiciniiiiti 's Armstrong 4 USA WEEKEND • Oct. 18-20, 1996 COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY LORI ADAMSKI-PEEK

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