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“Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.”

– Nelson Mandela


Days To Remember

 

June 14th: Flag Day – Commemorates the day in 1777 when the flag of the United States was officially adopted.

June 18: Ramadan – The blessed month of the Islamic faith. During this month, Muslims around the world abstain from food, drink and other physical needs during daylight hours as a means of purification, refocusing and self-sacrifice.

June 21st: Father’s Day – An annual holiday for the celebration of Fathers. President Woodrow Wilson made Father’s Day an official U.S. holiday in 1972.

June 21st: Summer solstice – The longest day of the year which marks the official start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Historically the solstice was met with a celebration of renewal, life, fertility and potential for a good harvest.


 

GOOD NEWS IN SPORTS

We all know that sports have the ability to make us active, passionate and even downright competitive, but they also have the ability to inspire and encourage individuals and society. Every day, people trump seemingly impossible athletic feats or use their love of sport to help others.

NBA Star Donates Car to Deserving Single Mom

 

russell-westbrook-carjpg-94570ad7f5534999Russell Westbrook is known for his kindness and generosity just as much as his talent on the basketball court.  Through the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation, Westbrook has given back to his fans and community for years. In April, he made another special donation that proved life changing for an Oklahoma City mother.

When he was named MVP of the NBA’s 2015 All-Star game, Westbrook won a brand new Kia Sorento. However, didn’t keep the prize for himself. In April he surprised a single mom with the new car and a year of insurance, registration and other fees. The recipient, Kerstin Gonzales is a 19-year-old single mother working to receive her college diploma. Westbrook asked Gonzales to use the car to continue to pursue her education and provide for her two sons.

Gonzales was blown away by the gift. “It’s so touching and so amazing knowing that there’s people out there willing to help the ones that are in need,” said Gonzales after receiving the vehicle.

The Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation works to inspire and empower young children and teach them to never give up. Westbrook and the foundation want to help children who face hardships to succeed in all of their endeavors. Westbrook’s charity work, including this car donation, is just one example of the power of sports to bring people together and inspire change and camaraderie in communities.

Read more here: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/nba-all-star-donates-new-car-to-single-mom-watch/


 

Blind Pole Vaulter Wins Bronze at State Championship

 

622x350Charlotte Brown never let anything get in the way of her pole-vaulting dreams, not even her deteriorating eye sight.

Brown has struggled with deteriorating eyesight her entire life. At just 16 weeks old she developed cataracts and had artificial lenses inserted into her eyes. Around age 11, her eyesight started to deteriorate once again. Brown’s vision continued to worsen and during her sophomore year of high school she lost all sight except the “’jigsaw puzzle’ of light and dark shades” that she sees today.

This Texas teen never let her medical problem get in the way of her life or passion for sports. Brown took up pole-vaulting in the seventh grade because she wanted to do something a little “dangerous and exciting.” She is able to complete the event by counting her steps toward the platform. She also has a beeper placed on the map that tells her when to plant the pole and push off.

It took years of practice and perseverance for Brown to reach the podium, but at her senior year State Championships, she did just that. Brown placed third after coming in eighth and fourth the past two years, respectively.

Brown’s story has inspired athletes and non-athletes alike by showcasing how passion and hope can overcome even the most daunting obstacles.

“If I could send a message to anybody it’s not about pole vaulting and it’s not about track,” said Brown. “It’s about finding something that makes you happy despite whatever obstacles are in your way.”

Read more here: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/blind-pole-vaulter-wins-bronze/


 

Late North Carolina Basketball Coach Dean Smith’s Will Surprise for Former Players

 

espnapi_dm_150208_ncb_bill_nack_essay_on_dean_smith_wmainThe late Dean Smith was known for his ability to create championship teams. In his time as the University of North Carolina Basketball Coach, his basketball teams won two NCAA Championships. Coach Smith was also known for his love and commitment to the young men he coached. After his death in February, many of his players thought they had felt the last of their coach’s generosity, but they were wrong. In a final gesture, Smith left 180 former players one last gift: a $200 check with a letter that read, “enjoy a dinner out compliments of Coach Dean Smith.”

The former UNC players were shocked and flattered by the gift. To them it was just Coach’s last way of showing his love and taking care of them.

“I saw the check, and was like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,” said Buzz Peterson, a player for Coach Smith during the Michael Jordan era. “This is unbelievable that he would do this for us.”

Smith was known for instilling important values in his athletes. He taught his players to show respect for others. He also pushed them to excel in the classroom, as well as on the court.

Coach Dean Smith’s love for basketball brought him into the lives of hundreds of players and thousands of fans. He created a community of respect and equality at the University that will be remembered for time to come. His commitment to making sports about more than just games and points changed the basketball community and is just another of example of the power of sports to change people’s lives for the better.

Read more here: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/dean-smith-left-surprise-in-his-will-for-each-player/


 

HEALTHY SUMMER RECIPES

Homemade Pico De Gallo

3d2350421ed4857480c1e7e9_250x250Ingredients:

  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 onion
  • ½ fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 2 sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  • Dice tomato
  • Finely chop onion, green onion and cilantro
  • Chop jalapeno pepper
  • In a medium bowl, combine tomato, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro and green onion.
  • Add garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then enjoy!

Photo and recipe found at: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pico-De-Gallo/?prop24=hn_slide1_Pico-De-Gallo&evt19=1


 

Delicious Kale Chips

308a62890b62633c4776556b_250x250Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper
  • Carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems of the kale leaf and tear into bite size pieces
  • Thoroughly wash and dry the leaves with a salad spinner or paper towels
  • Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
  • Lay the leaves out on the baking sheet and bake until the edges are brown, but not burnt. This should be about 10-15 minutes.

Photo and recipe found at: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Kale-Chips/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=1319


 

About the Author: Kristin Foster

689e6679b7a94dd6f9f388f9_280x280I’ve always had a passion for music and adventure, both of which led me to Nashville this summer. As a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, just 45 minutes outside of Raleigh, I have engaged in classes to learn more about public relations as a field, but this summer I wanted to take my education to the real world and find where my knowledge of public relations and my love of music intersect.

I’ve loved music since I was young, singing in every school chorus and on any stage I could find, and eventually learning to play the guitar. But as I grew, I realized I was drawn to the business side of it all. I love the intricacies of how it all works, from songwriting to publicity and everything in between. I decided to further my education at home in North Carolina, but always knowing I would end up in Nashville eventually.

So here I am; new city, new me. So far I’ve learned more than I ever expected about not only this unique city, but also myself. After only a few weeks I’ve already learned the important things like how to avoid morning traffic, where to find the best afternoon snack and which restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. In my short time, I have also learned so much about the music industry, and I’ve just fallen more in love with this career path.

This summer I’m excited to explore this new city and learn everything I can about Nashville and the music industry. Away from my family, friends and everything I know, I’m off looking for myself, and I can’t wait to see what I find.