Blessons, founded by Khit Masoud
I want to begin with this new journey and fight with the launch of my own mission, to fundraise and fund BLESSONS Scholarships for women who have had challenging lessons and need educational assistance in getting back in school like me and finish their first bachelor’s degree. I want to help women learn to love themselves, gain more self-esteem, confidence and find that fire that lives within, to see the world, share their passions, to not feel caged up like a bird or be without a voice because of their challenging lessons that have prevented them from going back to school. I want to become an Ambassador of Strength, an Inspirational Impetus to anyone that thinks they can’t overcome whatever challenges they are facing.
My goal is to raise enough funds to award at least 5 scholarships to 5 women in the 2017 while completing all 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors in honor of making a difference. Being the example of inspiration by sharing my story and by sharing my strength to others who need that support is what motivates me in staying positive. My dream is to teach others the value of sharing their own stories and using that fire to do more good. I believe when we train our minds to see the good in every situation, beautiful things happen in our lives as we distance ourselves from negativity and only welcome positivity. Running for good is a choice and so is being positive. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
Funds that are raised will be to help build dreams in empowering women through education. Please help me continue to make a difference while I fight my way through another cancer journey, be an example as I continue in finishing my own education one day while I train and run Berlin, Chicago & NYC Marathons this fall in honor of all women who still need a second chance in obtaining self- love after surviving through life lessons such as; abusive relationships including sex trafficking, cancer and diseases, , mental illness including disorders, or who are immigrants that challenges a woman’s opportunity to an education while not having the resources available to them for a college education as a traditional college student.
There are several ways to get involved and that can help and support the mission in empowering women through education who have suffered from cancer, mental illness, abuse or who are immigrants by donating to BLESSONS at www.blessons.org. Everyone has a story tell. It takes one story to inspire and provide hope to others. Anyone can share their “BLESSONS” story for us to share on our website. Whether it is a story of survivorship during your cancer battle, your painful lessons through mental illness including any disorders, or of remembrance of physical or emotional abuse, or the challenges as an immigrant struggling for financial assistance in completing your first Bachelors’ degree, you are helping other women like you will find comfort in knowing they are not alone. Helping us spread awareness of our mission by promoting our volunteer opportunities and events through social media is HUGE for our new organization. Please follow us on Facebook @blessons.org and on Instagram & Twitter @herblessons.
The demand for scholarships for women who have faced challenging experiences are growing. We are looking for engaged, energetic, passionate, and dedicated volunteers to help us increase our ability to accomplish our mission and vision in empowering women through education. Here are the goals and objectives: generate greater awareness of BLESSONS, NFP and services offered via outreach to colleges, financial aid offices, and corporations; represent BLESSONS, NFP as an official liaison at universities, colleges, meetings, fundraising events, running/sports events and speaking engagements. To learn more please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for supporting my project, BLESSONS Scholarships NFP.
Wild for Wildest Dreams
Taylor Swift released the music video for “Wildest Dreams”, and we are already wild about the video!
Not only do we love the video’s glamorous, African feel, we also love Taylor’s loving nod to charity. The video’s proceeds will be donated to the African Parks Association of America.
On Saturday, Washington’s National Zoo announced that its largest panda gave birth to twin pandas.
National Ice Cream Day
…because you just need to celebrate those random holidays that bring a smile to your face (and bring something sweet to your face!).
Sunday, July 19 was National Ice Cream Day, and it was a perfect opportunity to celebrate the sweet things in your life.
Officer & Baby Reunite
25-years-ago, Officer Michael Buelna found an abandoned, four-pound newborn (with an umbilical cord still attached) in a dumpster. Michael quickly sprung into action to save the baby and even wanted to adopt him.
Another family ended up adopting Michael first. However, 25 years later, the officer and the fully-grown baby were able to reconnect in a powerful reunion.
Rebekah Gregory survived the Boston Marathon bombings and the amputation of her left leg.
She recently published a letter to her attackers. In the letter, she shares that she used to live in fear because of the terrorists, but now, she says she lives life to the fullest.
For her very heartwarming and inspirational letter, click here.
Happy 145th Birthday to the Met!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrated its 145th birthday on Monday. We cheer on this beautiful museum and cheer to the next 145 years.
The museum is home to some of Claude Monet’s beloved haystacks (pictured). These haystacks are some of our favorite pieces of all time!
Katie First’s Fun Facts
My monogram is KFC, there I said it & I’ve embraced it. I’ve had monogrammed items for as long as I can remember and despite the unfortunate order, I wear it proudly.
Blue is my favorite color & it was before I joined Kappa.
When I got my senior pictures taken, my mom told me that I needed them to be timeless because if I ever run for office or go missing, this was the picture that was going to be used.
I’m willing to place money on the fact that I wore Sperry’s & bean boots before 90% of people my age.
I’m completely obsessed with the Real Housewives, every city every lady, I think it’s absolutely hilarious & Andy Cohen is a genius.
I love to cook.
I love my dogs, my family has two Shetland Sheepdogs and my boyfriend has a 8 month old Translyvanian Hound (I love them all equally).
My mother made me visit John Carroll even though I swore I would never go to Catholic School, I had never gone to a Catholic School my entire life and I didn’t want to start in college, but I fell in love the second I stepped foot on campus.
I can barely get myself dressed most mornings, I usually rely on my sister or my former room mate to help me put together an outfit; I have been known to text them looking for help.
I prefer tea over coffee, my favorite are Earl Grey Tea Lattes; it’s probably all I would consume if I ever travel to England.
I am an avid Coca-Cola consumer, but I try to keep it to a minimum; never Diet Coke and never Pepsi (there’s a difference).
I cried at the end of “Lone Survivor” and “American Sniper”.
When I read for pleasure, I read Presidential biographies/autobiographies and books on elections.
Purses are my guilty pleasure, not shoes or jewelry, it’s all about the purse. Even when I was little, when I went shopping with my mom, I would ask for a small shopping bag, stuff it with my coat or sweater, and carry it around like a purse.
I don’t have my license and when I’m in Cleveland, I take public transportation regularly.
Almost everyday, I wear a necklace with a small cut-out monogram, a Kappa Lavalier, and a Beta Theta Pi lavalier, given to my by my boyfriend.
Every year, over two million couples say “I Do”. This translates to about 6,000 marriages per day.
Today, 6,000 people will essentially say “I Do”. That is definitely something to celebrate!
Easter & Passover
This weekend, families across the globe gathered to celebrate Easter and Passover. One family was reunited after months apart. Some families had Easter Egg Hunts. Some families traveled from New York to Memphis to be together. This weekend with family was a time to celebrate.
Volunteers Who Are the Change they Wish to See
Let’s celebrate the volunteers that create positive change in their local communities and abroad. Here, Classy Lady Clare Robinson is pictured reading to students she taught in Uganda. Clare has chosen to make a difference in the world. Whether she’s teaching English to students in Uganda, Rwanda, Guatemala, or Thailand, or she’s helping thousands get access to hearing aids they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, Clare has decided to be the change she wants to see in the world.
Which volunteers in your life are creating positive change? They are worth celebrating! These people remind us that the world is ultimately good.
Who are the classy women in your life? Are you in a classy sorority? Should we feature you and your fellow sisters?
Tell us why! Write us at email@example.com.
Celebrate the cheerleaders in your life.
The classy ladies of Vanderbilt University’s Delta Delta Delta sorority have cheerleaders. Whether they’re cheerleading for a Vandy win, for their sisters, or for the children at St. Jude’s, these ladies keep a positive attitude.
Celebrate the cheerleaders in your life. Celebrate the people that bring you up. Celebrate the people that make you a better person. Celebrate the people that make a difference in people’s lives, as the classy ladies of Delta Delta Delta do every day for the children at St. Jude’s.
Race to Your Dreams
20,000 runners flooded Central Park on Sunday, March 15 to achieve their half marathon goals. The runners ran 13.1 miles across Manhattan, including through Times Square (which is shut down twice a year – once for New Year’s Eve and once for this half marathon!), through the West Side Highway, and through Wall Street. Runners of all ages and experience achieved their goals and reached the finish line feeling proud.
All About Attitude
Celeste Corcoran lost both of her legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings (and her daughter nearly bled to death), but that hasn’t stopped her from staying positive. She shares her story with challenged athletes in order to make a difference.
In a recent speech to the Challenged Athletes’ Foundation, Celeste had a message for the terrorists, “You hurt us. You took so much away…but in your face!”
Celeste is in the middle of the photograph, crossing the Boston Marathon 2014 finish line.
A Boy & His Pug
Need a smile? Check out how happy this cute boy and this cute pug make each other. It’s so cute!
Valentine’s Day Throwback
A dad picked up his daughter at the airport on Valentine’s Day. He welcomed her with a big hug and a dozen roses. Best dad ever! #throwbackthursday
Charlie Finds a Loving Home
After 10 years of spending cold nights in parks around New York, Charlie has now found a warm, loving home.
A group of New Yorkers had brought the dog food for years but recently decided to band together and find Charlie a home. It’s not been an easy road for Charlie – doctors say he’s physically healthy, but emotional health is a different story. However, this sweet dog can take time to emotionally heal in a warm home and a new family to call his own.
Need even more to celebrate? 450 people have donated $16,000 to help Charlie’s new owner pay for his medical bills. Doesn’t that just warm your heart?
Joey Logano Wins Daytona 500 Race
NASCAR driver Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 race on Sunday. “I can’t really put it into words,” he says. “It’s something that you can’t describe. I keep reliving over and over again what it was like…Man, you have a split-second after the caution came out, you think about it: Did we win? Then straight chaos after that. An amazing feeling.”
High school rates in the US are now at an all-time high of 81%. That’s fantastic!
Deloitte’s First Female CEO
On Monday, Deloitte (one of the biggest four accounting firms in the world) named its first female CEO in the company’s history. After working at Deloitte for nearly 30 years, Cathy Engelbert will assume her CEO role as of March 11.
Taylor & Kanye Make Peace
Today, we’ve been writing about how important it is to choose love.
Last night, Taylor Swift and Kanye West made peace after the VMA episode six years ago (when Kanye interrupted Taylor’s award).
Let’s celebrate buying the hatchet, moving forward, and choosing love.
Couples That Read Together Stay Together
Girls who love to read – rejoice. You and your gentleman may just earn a cute date night idea, and that is something to celebrate.
Research shows that reading together helps couples stay together. The book doesn’t even have to be the same – simply the act of reading together will strengthen your relationship.
This is just about the cutest fact ever (PS: I love the movie “Up”, where this picture is from).
Mamas & Babies
In the spirit of today’s column, we’re celebrating moms everywhere and their cute babies!
Women Lifting Women Up
Let’s celebrate fellow womankind today! Like the ladies of Delta Gamma at Northwestern University, let’s take time to build each other up.
What positive thing will you do to celebrate the people in your life? How will you spread good today? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Vince Wilfork to the Rescue
On Sunday, New England Patriots’ defensive tackle – Vince Wilfork – was probably eager to celebrate his team’s win against the Indianapolis Colts, which will send his team to the Super Bowl in February. On Sunday, he found himself in an unexpected situation.
While driving home from the championship game, he stopped to save a woman who was in an overturned SUV. He told reporters, “It was something we saw, and we knew she needed help, so we helped.”
That is definitely worth celebrating.
Free Climbing a 3,000-foot Vertical Wall & Rocking It
Two Americans have conquered what was once thought impossible. After five years of training and nearly three weeks of climbing up Yosemite’s El Capitan (a 3,000-foot climb), Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson became the first people to “free climb” up the Dawn Wall.
“Free climb” means they only used their body to reach the top of the wall – no tools to help pull themselves up other than their hands and feet. It’s an amazing accomplishment and definitely something worth celebrating!
What are you celebrating?
Write us at email@example.com!
You have today. You can take today and spread the glitter in your life. Spread the joy. Spread the love.
We don’t normally send chain emails, but this one especially made an impact:
“If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.
“If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy, and if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity.
“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.
“If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 700 million people in the world.
“If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.
“If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare.
“If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all those in doubt and despair.”
Hold your head up and smile today. Why? Because YOU are going to spread your joy – your glitter – and make a difference in someone’s life today.
Girl Scout Cookies
Every year, do you itch to find your favorite Girl Scout cookies?
Itch no more. Now, you can order Girl Scout cookies online! You still need to order through a Girl Scout, but the ordering process will be much easier since it is online.
The fact that Peanut Butter Patties, Thin Mints, and Shortbread can be in our freezers within 3-5 days is definitely something to celebrate!
Blake Lively Has First Child
Reportedly, Blake Lively (the former Gossip Girl star and fashionista) has given birth to her first child with husband, Ryan Reynolds. Blake is known for her incredible style, which she has exuded all throughout her glowing pregnancy. We are thrilled for Blake and Ryan!
Our inner Blair Waldorf is so happy!
We celebrate YOU.
You’re the classy girl who stays positive when parts of your life aren’t the brightest. You choose happiness over negativity. You choose love over building a wall. You choose to be brave when it’s so easy to cave into fear.
You’re the one who tries. It’s easy to slip into the negativity, but you catch yourself and embrace the positive. Because you try, you succeed.
You host dance parties in your room. You know every Taylor Swift song by heart. You like bows. You embrace work outs. You love Audrey Hepburn movies, you love love stories, you love travel, you love life.
You believe in the good. You see the good. You choose the good.
Today and always, we celebrate you.
A boyfriend wrote 365 reasons why he loves his girlfriend, and he placed these adorable facts (on correspondingly colored sticky notes) in a huge jar. Yellow stickies represent the memories this sweet couple has had together, green stickies highlight the song lyrics or love quotes that make him emotional about his beloved, and the pink stickies concretely identify why he is so in love with her.
Love is something to celebrate every single day.
A Christmas Miracle
Last week, an unknown Massachusetts woman went into a Toys R Us to pay for every outstanding layaway balance (meaning families’ not fully paid bills) on 150 accounts. She spent $20,000 on 150 accounts, which means at least 150 struggling families will benefit.
When the Toys R Us employee asked the woman about her act of kindness, the woman said, “If you have it, give it.”
The best part? This has been done before.
Read on about how the world really is a beautiful place here.
Oregon State Celebrates Its Rival’s Major Win
On Saturday, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (pictured) won the Heisman Trophy, which is an award given to the most outstanding player in college football. In recognition of this major accomplishment, Oregon State (Oregon’s biggest rival) published a very classy ad to celebrate Marcus’ accomplishment. Even though the two schools have engaged in a rivalry that many call an 120-year-old “Civil War”, Oregon State kindly celebrates the other team.
We Remember Pearl Harbor
On Sunday, survivors honored those who died on December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor. Sunday was the 73rd anniversary of the attack on US soil that launched the US’ involvement in World War II.
We celebrate the brave men who fought for our country during WWII and those who fought back at Pearl Harbor. “By honoring our past, we inspire our future and assure the events of this day 73 years ago are not forgotten,” said General Lori Robinson, commander of the Pacific Air Forces.
Matthew Survives Against the Odds
Matthew was born 17 weeks early, and this sweet baby weighed only 1.5 pounds. The doctors said he only had a 20% chance to live. After spending five months in the hospital, Matthew is now home with his parents. Doctors call this a miracle.
“Free Hugs” Sign in Ferguson
For months, we have heard about continued protests in Ferguson, Missouri. The racially charged protests are seemingly sparking more divisions in the city and in the country.
Today, we celebrate the students in Ferguson who walked around the protests with a “Free Hugs” sign. Sgt. Bret Barnum saw the sign and asked, “Do I get one of those?”
In what is absolutely a symbolic and beautiful picture, a police officer in Ferguson hugged a young man.
We’re all people. We think we’re all very different, but we all have the same basic needs. Mostly, we all seek to love and to be loved.
Ark of the Rainbow
Want to learn more about our classy lady’s incredible charity? You can read the full excerpt from a speech she gave last Saturday (a condensed version is included in the article) here:
In 2009, many of you know that I took a sabbatical from Pepsico to move to India for 3 months. I felt at that time that I had a spiritual calling to go learn more about poverty and to live in the midst of it. During those months in India, I volunteered with an organization that was fighting human trafficking. They were doing incredible work, raiding brothels to rescue underage girls who had been kidnapped or tricked into being sex slaves. But it was also so disheartening, because often times the pimps weren’t prosecuted and they would find new girls the next day. We weren’t solving the problem.
When I returned, Dana [Christine’s husband] and I discussed the root cause of all of the darkness. Essentially it all boiled down to poverty. Extreme poverty cause vulnerable youth to accept “jobs” working in the cities cleaning houses or working at factories – only to find out that the jobs were anything but that. Extreme poverty caused families to sometimes sell their children, knowing full well what would happen to them. Extreme poverty fueled the pimps to do unspeakable things to these little girls.
We were determined to make a dent in the cause – and to give these people a way out of poverty – with an education.
So in 2012 we started a program called Ark of the Rainbow. There was such a great need and I knew some great locals from my time living in India, so the program saw success early on. Since then it’s only continued to grow.
2014 has been a banner year. We’re making a big impact. We have an adorable, 4 room school house in a slum in Bangalore, India and over 60 slum children attending our school. There is a wait list of more who want to come, but we are currently out of space. Today we offer 4 classes for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Starting in June, we plan to add 1st grade. And God willing, a new grade each year after that. Students in the school receive health care, nutritious meals and Christmas presents – all things we take for granted here, but that they would not otherwise be receiving.
We have an afterschool club for vulnerable pre-teens and teens. It’s like if you took a Young Life program and a leadership program/life skills program and mashed them together. We have 70 kids attending these clubs each week.
We’ve sponsored college scholarships for girls graduating from this program, and it’s amazing seeing them go on to pursue a higher education.
We also offer these kids vacation bible school and summer camps. For many of them, it’s the only time they’ve ever left the slum where they live.
There are even programs for the parents, from parenting seminars to community counseling. When we were there in March, I was able to speak to many mothers, sending them a message of how important it was for them to keep their kids in school – and particularly their GIRLS. India is country where girls are still 2nd rate citizens, and their education is often undervalued. Counseling is critical for these families, as the hardships they face are typically compounded by alcohol abuse and domestic violence.
Less than One Month Until Christmas!
Let the official Christmas counting begin… and keep the babies in Christmas outfits coming.
As Thanksgiving draws nearer, Christmas is most definitely in the air.
To start the celebrations, we’re so excited to feature these sweet Christmas babies. Buzzfeed did a magnificent job of compiling the cutest Christmas babies around, and here they are.
“Shake It Off” Left a Blank Space for “Blank Space”
According to BBC, Taylor Swift has become the first female singer to beat her own #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 charts with another one of her singles.
So, “Shake It Off” will have to shake off its fall from #1, but its fall left a blank space. Naturally, “Blank Space” had to replace it.
Congratulations to Taylor!
You Be You
What does “you be you” mean to you? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll find your quote up on the site! Let’s let “you be you” inspire us every day. Because being who you are is exactly who you should be, and that is worth celebrating.
Our Favorite Quotes from Miami of Ohio’s Classy Theta Ladies
“The girls I have met in this sorority truly are my sisters. We all are different in so many ways, but we are connected as one for different reasons. Coming from a ray of different backgrounds, we all share common goals that bring us together such as sisterhood, scholarship and service. We are fortunate to have such tight bonds with each and every member in our sorority.” – Colleen Reilly
“Even when I was in Switzerland about to cliff jump, Theta has been by my side. I know even more now that I am a senior that Theta will always be a part of my life.” – Kelsey O’Brien, Senior
“Everyone said you have to meet this girl, you guys are meant to be big and little. As it turned out everyone was right. Now it is so much more than just being big and little. Hannah is my best friend, little and soulmate combined into one. Without Theta we probably never would have met so I thank the twin stars everyday for bringing that little one into my life.” – Hannah Baxter, Junior
“I never quite understood the term ‘sisterhood’ until I joined Theta. I have met my go to girls, my ‘people.’ My date to late night at Bagel & Deli, my dancing partner, my bridesmaids, and most importantly my sisters and best friends. Not only will they stay in with me on a Friday night ‘just because,’ or force me out of bed for class, but they genuinely want to see me succeed and empower me to be the best version of myself. I am OVERWHELMED by the love & support I feel from every Theta sister. The best part? It’s not just four years, it’s for life.” – Sydney Stevens, Sophomore
“Soul mates? I think they exist. Just not always romantically. I think there are certain people you will meet in your life who you just connect with more than anyone else and you just know it isn’t a typical thing and you understand each other perfectly. The secret of happiness is to count your blessings. These 11 girls are all blessings and soul mates of mine.” – Gaby Voris, Senior
“To me, Theta means one thing: love. The second I joined I felt this wave of unconditional love and support from every single one of my sisters. To this day, the smile I had opening my bid has been stuck on my face. I get giddy just thinking of my sisters and how much I appreciate each of them and how I simply could not live without them. They are my people. Period.” – Meg Dewire, Sophomore
True Hero Ties
Today, we celebrate two entrepreneurs that work every day to make a difference in veterans’ lives. They also wouldn’t
True Hero Ties was created to act as a medium for the everyday American to quietly and subtly connect with veterans in an everyday manner. Founders Matt Newill and Ryan Tinker knew millions of Americans were looking for a way to connect with veteran support organizations, and the founders helped bring Americans and veterans together – through ties.
“We decided creating a company – and tie – that allows for that would be the best way for us to achieve that goal. True Hero Ties donates 50% of all proceeds to U.S. veteran support organizations. Any excess money that we have at the end of the year is donated to our partner organizations. So, we never take a penny of profit and operate solely to help veterans. We started the company in 2011 and support the Wounded Warrior Project, Homes for Our Troops, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the IAVA and the Lone Survivor Foundation,” explains co-founder, Matt Newill.
For the founders, this cause is also a personal one. Matt shares, “We care deeply about veterans because each of our grandfathers served our nation during WWII. I nearly joined the military twice and my dad flew in the Air Force – the military has been a community that has inspired me my entire life and continues to provide the most amazing gift we can receive – that being, our freedom.”
And why ties? “We felt ties were a great product to start with because they create conversations amongst strangers. Oftentimes, people will ask, ‘That is an interesting tie – where did you get it?’ That conversation provides the opportunity to tell our story and allows our customers to do it for us, as well!”
Matt and Ryan are not only giving back to these honored veterans, their family members, and the country they love, they’ve also created something that veterans love. “Veterans really appreciate our commitment to donating every dollar and they often have great ideas on how we can expand our impact. They are the best advocates we have for our mission! We had a story from an army veteran from Afghanistan, whose brother was still fighting overseas. He bought one of our ties and planned to give it to his brother at Christmas, when he returned home. He said he had never found a better Christmas gift than our tie – it meant the world to us.”
After working countless hours at night and on the weekends to launch True Hero Ties, Ryan and Matt help our nation’s heroes each and every day through their business. “The most rewarding part of the work is being able to send the donation checks to the organizations we care about – that is more rewarding than any other piece of work I’ve ever done. We receive amazing stories and feedback from customers and parents and veterans – those stories and that passion inspire us constantly,” Matt shares.
We’re inspired by Matt and Ryan’s mission, too. Want to learn more? Check out their website here.
Free from Ebola
Dr. Craig Spencer became the first person in New York City to contract Ebola. On Monday, it was announced that the doctor (who has gone on Doctors Without Borders missions) has been freed from the deadly Ebola virus and can go home on Tuesday.
25th Anniversary: The Berlin Wall Falls
This weekend marked the 25th anniversary that the Berlin Wall fell. The Wall was built in 1961 to prevent those in East Berlin (dominated by the communists) to escape to West Berlin (known for its Western freedoms). The Wall was a symbol of division in the country, and after its fall, many Berliners tried to destroy any sign of its presence. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel says, the falling of the Wall represents that “dreams can come true.”
A Survivor Helps Others
Vivian Pellas survived a plane crash that left her seriously burned. Today, you may not even see the scars on her face. However, the emotional scars of Vivian’s accident have left her to help other burn victims. She founded the Association for Child Burn Victims in Nicaragua, which has treated more than 11,000 patients for free.
Moms & Paris
Today’s Classy Lady – the lovely Maeve Sheahan – shares that Paris is one of her favorite cities. Ever since she was little, Maeve and her sweet mom have visited Paris and enjoyed their time together.
Today, we celebrate the “girls trips” we take. We celebrate the special time that Maeve and her mom have spent in Paris, which has inspired Maeve to start her own store (Maison de Maeve – it’s the cutest business ever. Click here to see it).
Life is about these ever-precious moments with family. What are you celebrating? What trips have you taken with your family? Write us at email@example.com.
Walking on a Wire
If you’re in Chicago, seeing a man break world records by walking 600 feet in the air on a wire in between two buildings.
A seventh-generation acrobat, Nik Wallenda successfully walked (even blindfolded) on wires between two buildings last night. The 35-year-old acrobat and father of three admitted that every step is either life or death.
We celebrate that Nik not only broke records but also that he returned to his loving family.
Cash Mob for Avi
Avi is an Indian immigrant who has made such a difference in the lives of Levittown, New York’s citizens. He’s own the store’s convenience store for about ten years. However, over the last five years, the bad economy has caused Avi’s sales to decline by 75%.
After telling many in the town that Avi would have to likely close his store, the town coordinated a “cash mob” for Avi to flush his store with cash.
What’s more is even though Avi may still have to sell his store, Avi continues to see the positives. The full story is a must-read because it will absolutely warm your heart.
Kansas City Royals
There’s been a lot of press this morning on the San Francisco Giants’ World Series Win against the Kansas City Royals. The Giants became a Dynasty team, and the Royals became one game away from winning their first World Series since 1985.
We believe that we should celebrate the Kansas City Royals and what they achieved this season. Kansas City fans are also some of the most dedicated in baseball (just look at their sweet tweets after Game 7).
Today, we celebrate the Royals for acting classy and royal after Game 7.
Ladies Who Brunch
Over the weekend, Abby, Merideth, and Bonnie were able to connect for brunch. These three classy ladies shared their volunteer aspirations, stories of special marriages (and beliefs of love at first sight), and laughs. These sweet ladies make any volunteer experiences especially enjoyable. They were able to celebrate a beautiful Sunday in Chicago. Thanks to the Junior League of Chicago for bringing them together.
Are you brunching with your girlfriends? What are you celebrating? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANS Delivers Babies
One of our favorite classy ladies (her initials are ANS) is in her third year of medical school. For the next few weeks, she has been learning the OB/GYN world and has delivered over three babies (another one may have been born last night!).
Our classy lady says, “Babies are really slippery, it’s hard not to drop them.” Fun fact!
We celebrate this wonderful classy lady who is literally bringing life into the world.
On Sunday night, Chicago Blackhawks’ player Patrick Kane reached his 500th point through an assist. Patrick scored this landmark point in only 523 games.
Today, we celebrate Friday.
We haven’t been this excited for the weekend since… last Friday! Enjoy your weekend, celebrate with the ones you love, and enjoy the life you have been given.
When we read the news, we are often reminded how fortunate we really are. What’s universal, though, is we’ve all been blessed with another day. Today, that day is Friday.
Let’s make it the best Friday on record! How are you celebrating your Friday? Write us at email@example.com.
North Korea Frees Jeffrey Fowle
American Jeffrey Fowle was detained in North Korea for nearly six months for leaving a Bible in a North Korean city. However, North Korea has freed Jeffrey, who will now return home to Ohio. We celebrate Jeffrey’s release.
North Korea has detained two other Americans, and all are hoping that this unexpected North Korean act of generosity will be repeated for the other two Americans.
Welcome to New York
Taylor Swift’s new single gives us something to celebrate.
“Welcome to New York” has us dancing around in our rooms, practicing our karaoke skills (the neighbors have yet to complain, which is only an excuse to continue belting my favorite Taylor tunes), and eagerly sending our parents these lyrics at 5am because the lyrics are just so stellar.
“Like any great love, it keeps you guessing. Like any real love, it’s ever changing. Like any true love, it drives you crazy, but you know you wouldn’t change.”
I often compare New York to a great love (I’m telling you, this song was made for me). This celebrate story is more of a personal one, but CFN is celebrating Taylor Swift’s latest tune (and you can bet there will likely be another celebrate story similar to this one after Taylor’s album debuts).
Louise Troh Is Free from Ebola
Louise Troh once called Thomas Eric Duncan the love of her life. In a most difficult time, Thomas Eric Duncan became the first patient in the US to contract Ebola and to later die. Because Louise was worried she may have contracted the often-deadly disease from her boyfriend, Louise was in isolation for 21 days to ensure she does not have the disease. The one bright spot in this difficult time is that Louise has reached the 21-day mark (which signifies that if she had Ebola, it would have appeared by now. Fortunately, Louise does not have Ebola.
If you have two feet, you should celebrate. You should jump, run, and appreciate every step.
If you have two hands, you should celebrate. You should wrap someone in a hug and give someone a high-five. You should celebrate writing the date in your notebook because you have the gift of a working hand.
If you have two eyes, you should celebrate. You can see the beautiful world around you. You can appreciate the gifts this world offers you.
If you have a heart, you should celebrate. You should be grateful your heart pumps, and you should remind someone how much you love them.
It’s easy to forget how important it is to celebrate these fundamental blessings. How do you celebrate them? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucy’s Sandwich Deal
Lucy submitted this deliciously sweet story.
Lucy was at a grocery store chain and was wondering what to make for dinner. She went up to the sandwich counter, where she noticed a delicious caprese sandwich. The $8 price tag stopped her for a moment. She asked the man manning the counter, “Is that sandwich really worth $8?”
The man responded, “It’s definitely a great sandwich. They’re also $5 on Thursdays!” Lucy paused for a moment, unsure. The man said, “You know what, let’s make your day today.” He quickly wrapped the caprese sandwich and said, “Let’s pretend it’s Thursday.”
Lucy noticed her sandwich had a $5 charge instead of the usual $8. It’s little things like this that make life so big and wonderful.
Wedding Photo Found in 9/11 Rubble Returned to Owner
On September 11, 2001, Fred Mahe lost a wedding photo that was tacked in his cubicle in the World Trade Center. Fred thought he would never see that photo of him at his friends’ wedding again and assumed the photo was left in the rubble.
Somehow, a Massachusetts woman named Stringer Keefe found the photo on September 11, and every year since, she has tweeted the photo on the anniversary in an attempt to find its owner. Miraculously, this year on September 12, the photo was returned to Fred and his family.
According to ABC News, “On 9/11 I saw the worst of humanity, [but] on 9/12 I saw the best of humanity,” Fred Mahe said. “Elizabeth [Stringer Keefe] is 100 percent 9/12.”
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon Concludes Cancer Treatment
JP Morgan is a large bank (the largest bank in the US by assets), and that doesn’t overwhelm its CEO – Jamie Dimon – as he navigates a throat cancer diagnosis. In fact, it only makes him stronger. While undergoing treatment, Jamie was very present in the office. Cancer hasn’t held Jamie back.
We celebrate Jamie’s determination to push forward and that Jamie has concluded his cancer treatment. We certainly hope for the best for him and good news.
Kind Actions at a Red Sox Game
At the Boston Red Sox game on Wednesday evening, a 12-year-old boy named Ryan was handed a foul ball. He immediately turned around and gave it to an unknown little girl behind him, later saying, “It’s good to make people happy.”
The announcers noticed this beautiful deed and later gave Ryan two baseballs after he was interviewed for his good deed.
This was all caught on TV! Watch the video here (it just may make you tear up…)!
Kate Middleton Is Pregnant!
Our inaugural classy lady – Kate Middleton – announced she and her husband, Prince William, are expecting their second child. This wonderful news was announced on Monday, after Kate was unable to attend a public event due to her severe morning sickness (a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum).
Reports show that Kate is less than 12 weeks pregnant, but because of her severe morning sickness, she had to announce the news. She is currently being treated in Kensington Palace (the couple’s lovely London home).
We wish Kate and the Royal Family all the best and are so thrilled she will bring another beautiful baby into the world!
Cute Dogs Make Peace
Everyone loves a good pup story.
Two dogs began to duke it out (theories suggest the battle began over a treat or the cute girly pup next door), and a third dog came to save the day. Watch the video, and the peace may just warm your heart.
Women Rock Boards and Stock Prices
A Bloomberg article reports that a Spanish phone and Internet company – Jazztel – has increased the value of their stock price more than six times in the last five years. What is interesting about that? Well, 45% of Jazztel’s board is comprised of women. The company’s stock price began its ascent in 2009, at the same time the board was led by more women than any other Spanish company (most companies have about 30% of women on boards, and some companies don’t have any women). Coincidence? We think not!
They Found Love
James Costello was badly injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. After undergoing multiple surgeries, James was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where James met Krista, his nurse. Soon, Krista D’Agostino became the love of James’ life.
Over the weekend, James and Krista married. Through tragedy, they found love and hope. We celebrate their beautiful wedding and send them best wishes.
Carrie Underwood’s Baby News
Classy Lady Carrie Underwood is pregnant!
To share her baby news, Carrie and her husband, Mike Fisher, dressed up their dogs in cute little outfits (see picture). The outfits announced that the pups would be a big brother or big sister, and the picture was shared on Instagram on Labor Day.
We are thrilled for Carrie and her wonderful family!
Brianna Celebrates Wednesday
Brianna (also known as B, Bri, and Blair Waldorf) found herself in a cute French Market on Wednesday during lunch where we were lucky enough to chat with her. As she strolled the aisles, her bright, creative outfit (with cheetah flats, no less – and don’t get B started on how much she loves zipper sweaters) wow-ed the crowd.
B just returned from a half marathon in Vancouver, and she is prepping for the Chicago Marathon in October (and yes, she already ran the Chicago Marathon last year and qualified for Boston).
Brianna is known as a mover and a shaker. Look out for our chic Brianna on a long run, sipping a Starbucks and reading her favorite book, or out on the town.
We also celebrate B because she is true to herself and her morals. Sometimes, we see fewer women who are true to their hearts, but B isn’t afraid to stand apart from the crowd and be true to her good, pure self.
Michael Jordan Celebrates
Basketball star Michael Jordan is a big fan of Swiss tennis star, Roger Federer. Michael supported Roger in Tuesday’s tennis match, and you could see Michael beaming in support of his friend’s win. That is certainly something to celebrate.
Michael Jordan is out there celebrating life — how are you celebrating life? Write us at email@example.com.
Nameplate & Warm Welcome
Brooke noticed that Clare had just moved to her same floor, but Clare didn’t have a stand to hold her nameplate. Without it, no one would know where Clare sat.
Brooke noticed she had an extra nameplate holder and decided to sweetly surprise Clare. When Clare returned to her desk on her first day, Brooke had already setup Clare’s nameplate in her extra stand. Brooke made Clare feel very welcome on her first day.
Brooke is one classy lady who certainly knows how to make your day!
Pay It Forward
We talk about chains in today’s Column. Here’s another kind of great chain.
At a Starbucks drive through in St. Petersburg, Florida, a kind woman started a chain of kindness. While placing an order for her iced coffee, she also asked to purchase the drink for the person in the car behind her. The person behind the first woman returned the favor to the person behind him. This chain kept going for 378 people.
How will you pay it forward today?
Thrilled to Be Alive
A terrible and often-deadly disease – Ebola – has killed over 1,300 people in West Africa this year. American Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol are two US patients that were affected by the disease in Africa and brought to the US for treatment. Both Kent and Nancy were discharged from the hospital.
Dr. Kent Brantly shared, “I am thrilled to be alive.”
The doctor is pictured with his family.
Tricia Goes the Extra Mile
While enjoying a beautiful run on Wednesday evening, I thought I might take a different route home and spice life up a bit. Quickly, I realized I was a little unsure of where I was and that my life felt a little more spiced than I expected. Luckily, I stopped at a red light, where a fellow runner named Tricia was also momentarily stopped.
Sometimes, when you ask for directions in a big city, you may find people do not want to help you. Tricia was the opposite of that. When I asked her for directions, a kind smile not only appeared on her face, she also offered to run with me to the main road I would follow home.
Tricia could have kindly explained to me where to go, but she literally went the extra mile. Because of her generosity, I was able to safely arrive home and learn a new route.
The best part was getting to know Tricia. She is a nurse and takes care of babies. Tricia’s sunny personality, amazing running skills (she runs one marathon a year and is running a half-marathon over Labor Day), and kind heart make her the epitome of a classy lady.
How special that sometimes, when you feel lost, you just may find someone who will go the extra mile and lead you home.
Cherish a Chai
Today’s Classy Lady – Kadie – loves coffee. I love chais.
Over the weekend, I got to sit at my favorite casual dining place in New York. I sat at the counter, ordered a vanilla chai, and sipped its goodness for over an hour.
Never have I taken an hour to simply sit and enjoy a chai (I am what they call a “chai chugger”). Let’s celebrate taking the time to nurse a chai and enjoy the world around you).
Two Sisters Safely Return Home
Two Amish sisters were reportedly kidnapped on Wednesday night. However, the 12-year-old sister and the 7-year-old sister have been now returned to their Amish community in New York. While a suspect has not yet been identified, we celebrate knowing that these two girls are safe once again.
Bogie & Bacall
Some love stories are like sonnets that remind you how sweet summer love can be. Others are epic and adored by millions. In the 1940s and 50s, Americans celebrated Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s romance, as this golden couple was affectionately called “Bogie & Bacall”.
It started when they met onscreen in 1944. Bogie and Bacall played on-screen lovers in the film, “To Have and Have Not”. In one scene, Bacall was reported to be trembling. To calm her nerves, she tipped her head down, and her chin nearly touched her chest. She then looked up at Bogie, in a face that is now famously known as “The Look”. “The Look” not only launched Bacall’s career, it also launched Bogie and Bacall’s love story.
Humphrey Bogart is the star-studded man who had leading roles in both “Sabrina” (an Audrey Hepburn classic) and “Casablanca”. He was certainly no stranger to the cameras but wanted to have true, normal relationship (though Humphrey and Lauren did have an affair – Humphrey was married when they met). Humphrey had been married three times, and before he and Lauren got married, he wanted to know family would come first.
“I was so blinded by Bogie I couldn’t think of anything else,” said Lauren. “All I thought of was being with him. He didn’t ask me not to be an actress. But he said he had been married to three actresses and their careers always came first. If I wanted a career that badly, OK, he would help me as much as he could, but he wouldn’t marry me. I had to promise to put our life together first. That’s what I did.”
The pair were married until Humphrey’s death from cancer in 1957. He was only 57 years old.
While Bogie and Bacall’s marriage ended over 50 years ago, their love story is still cherished today.
A Fridge, A Birthday, A Reunion
First, a kind mama stocked the fridge of her daughter out of the kindness of her heart. The mom stocked the fridge while her daughter was at work, so her daughter could come home to some nice food.
Second, two friends got to celebrate their birthdays at a fun restaurant in Chicago. They got to catch up, learn about the “Find Friends” app (you know, just in case B6-13 is a real thing), and decide they want to take French lessons together.
Third, two older ladies ran into each other on the bus after not seeing each other for years! They had the bus cheering for them because these two ladies were so excited. It was precious and definitely something to celebrate.
Successful Truce (So Far) In Israel & Gaza
Israel and Hamas have both lived up to the terms of the 72-hour cease-fire that was in effect as of Tuesday. Israel has removed forces from Gaza. Day two has been successful, and talks are resuming between the two states. The talks are held in Egypt, and an official told Reuters that he believes the talks are moving forward.
Taylor Swift Sings to 7-Year-Old in Hospital
While visiting Boston’s Children’s Hospital over the weekend, Taylor Swift sang for 7-year-old cancer patient, Jordan Nickerson. Jordan is currently battling leukemia and Williams Syndrome, but that didn’t stop him from dancing with the singer (to “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and acting like the happiest kid in the world.
Watch the video and see the sweet pair dance and enjoy a happy moment. Taylor Swift made this patient’s day, and it just may make yours.
Turtle Reunites with His Family
A 150-pound tortoise named Clark was found wandering in California alone. However, the police were able to take this sweet tortoise to his family, so the turtle and his family have been reunited. Anytime anybody – or any animal – reunites with family, it’s a good thing.
Because sometimes, you just need to have a watermelon-eating contest. And always, when they ask for a volunteer, you say yes.
This team got together to simply celebrate a wonderful Thursday night and an 80s throwback movie – Dirty Dancing. Why the watermelons? First, it’s summer (so, why not?), and second, because Baby “carried the watermelon”.
Say yes when opportunity comes to your door, and if you get the opportunity this summer, enjoy a watermelon-eating competition with your team and your friends!
Kristina’s Bucket List
21-year-old Kristina Chesterman was tragically killed by a drunk driver while Kristina was riding her bike. When her parents found Kristina’s makeup bag, they found a way to turn their grief into hope.
Kristina left a bucket list her makeup bag. In it, her goals include owning her own business, have kids, seeing the Wonders of the World, riding a camel, and being remembered as the “smiley girl”.
Her memory has inspired many to do things on Kristina’s bucket in order to keep Kristina’s memory alive.
Today, we celebrate Kristina and the women who keep Kristina’s memory alive by accomplishing the items on Kristina’s bucket list. Kristina’s memory lives on.
11 Year Old Boy Saves Lives
Before his death, an 11-year-old brain cancer patient in China donated his organs to the hospital where he was being treated. According to Chinese officials, this boy’s act saved several lives. In the picture, Chinese doctors bow to the boy.
Riding in Cars with Brian
If you were twelve and saw Riding in Cars with Boys, you probably never wanted to get in a car with a boy. They should have made the movie: Riding in Cars with Brian.
Life is about celebrating the little things, and yesterday, Brian and I got to go for a drive. Of course, we got to the train station to pick up my brother who claimed he already had a ride and didn’t need us to pick him up. So, Brian and I headed home and simply enjoyed the wonderful time together. It was a more wonderful summer evening because Brian was there.
Riding in cars with Brian is so much better than riding in cars with boys.
Happy Birthday, Prince George!
Prince George, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s son, is one years old today! Today, we celebrate adorable Prince George’s birthday and the fact that he has taken his first steps.
According to E!, Prince William says that Prince George can open doors and can be found “charging around”. Of course, the Prince also believes that his son is “lovely.”
We think it’s just a lovely family all around.
Can’t get enough photos of the cute birthday boy? Today, many sites are displaying their favorite pictures of sweet baby George.
Happy Birthday, Prince George!
Ladies Who Brunch
Did you have a wonderful weekend celebrating life and summer with your girlfriends?
Maybe, you were celebrating a birthday. Maybe, you were simply celebrating a good time getting to know each other – like these beautiful, classy ladies were. Meet: Bonnie, Nikki, Tanya, and Meredith. They got to know each other more this weekend over a beautiful brunch (and day!) in Chicago.
The things you celebrate in life don’t always have to be milestone birthdays, anniversaries, or when you get a new puppy (though if you do get a new puppy, please send pics). Sometimes, the best things in life are celebrating the moment you and your friends have two hours to chat, when a kind stranger holds a door for you, or even someone says “bless you” after you sneeze.
Write us what you celebrate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meghan & Night Heist
In honor of the one-week anniversary of a wonderful Night Heist (thrown by the Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago), we celebrate a board member’s act of kindness.
Board members are required to sell a certain dollar amount of tickets to Night Heist. It’s usually very easy (who doesn’t love a fabulous party in the Art Institute?), but one board member (let’s call her Michelle) was having trouble. This particular board member’s friends were out of town or unable to make it for whatever reason.
So, another board member – Meghan – offered some of the tickets she had sold to count as Michelle’s credit. Meghan told Michelle after Meghan had donated the tickets in Michelle’s name. A small act of kindness went a very long way.
Can’t wait to feature Meghan as a Classy Lady very soon. Ladies like Meghan exemplify what being a classy lady truly is.
Angela Merkel’s 60th Birthday
German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrates her 60th birthday today in Berlin. It is rumored that 1,000 guests will gather in an informal reception to honor Angela, who is affectionately known in Germany as “Mummy”.
Angela has led the EU and Germany though very challenging times, and she has remained incredibly popular in Germany – after nearly nine years as chancellor, nearly 60% of the population would still vote for her, according to a recent poll.
For her birthday, Angela told the German press she simply wishes for “good health”. Angela, we wish you good health and happiness!
Babies and Pets
Looking for a quick smile to launch your day?
Check out “22 Photos That Prove Why Babies Need Pets”. If you’re an animal lover at all, you will celebrate how cute the babies and animals are together.
You can always find a little bit of joy that is definitely something to celebrate.
Colbie Caillat’s Message in “Try”
Colbie Caillat was one of CFN™’s first Classy Ladies. We’re glad to see she’s still living up to her classy nature.
Colbie released a new music video for her song, “Try”. In the song, Colbie sings that girls do not have to try so hard (get our nails done, lose weight, put on makeup), that “you just have to get up, get up, get up”. The point of the song is that women are beautiful the way they are, and we should not be afraid to be our pure, natural selves.
We celebrate Colbie for not only taking a risk (the music video shows her au nautral) and for celebrating women everywhere. We love song lyrics from female artists – like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry – that celebrate the men who love us with no makeup on. Colbie takes this message to a new level and celebrates women with no makeup in a communication style that is woman to woman.
What do you think of Colbie’s video? Send us your thoughts at email@example.com.
Cassie Will Remain a Vanderbilt Student
Cassie is a fighter. She worked so hard in high school to be accepted to Vanderbilt, a school with a 12% acceptance rate. Cassie’s hard work paid off, and she was accepted.
Just three weeks before her first year of college, her mother took her own life. Because her mom will not have residential custody for Cassie, Cassie discovered she would not receive financial aid.
Cassie launched a Go Fund Me initiative and asked for $24,000 for this year’s tuition. She has reached $33,800, and donations keep coming. Across the country, many are inspired by Cassie’s determination to stay at a school she loves and remains positive even after encountering such a tragedy. We celebrate that Cassie will continue to be a student at Vanderbilt and that support for Cassie continues to come.
Four Time Cancer Survivor Runs 2,000 Mile Race
Helene Neville is a 53-year-old grandmother who has not only beaten cancer four times, she has also just completed a 2,000 mile race, which required running from Florida to Maine. Helen Neville has been running 25 miles a day for over 68 days.
As you may have guessed, Helene isn’t done yet. She is going to prepare for a 3,400 mile run that will be next year. Upon completion of that run, Helene will have run the perimeter of the United States.
She’s beaten cancer four times. She has run across the country. She’s not giving up.
Helene believes, “My run is not to realize my own dream but to inspire others to reach theirs.”
Helene is an inspiration to us all!
63 Nigerian Women Escape to Freedom
Nearly three months ago, the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 Nigerian girls. Over the weekend, over 63 Nigerian women escaped their captivity in a city near where the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were taken. While the world seeks to find these missing schoolgirls, we celebrate that over 63 brave Nigerian women escaped their Islamist, militant captors and have fled to freedom.
What are you celebrating? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Birthday, America!
This weekend is America’s birthday and also essentially America’s thanksgiving. We can use this weekend to remember why America is exceptional and why we are so blessed to live in this incredible country.
Did you know the people of Spain do not always feel comfortable waving their flag? This stems from the fact that a dictator took over their country in the mid 20th century, and Spain still uses the flag the dictator installed (even though the country is no longer under a dictatorship).
50 years later, some Spaniards do not feel like proudly waving their flag. This weekend, I hope we remember how blessed we feel that we not only live in America, we are proud to wave our flag.
Let freedom ring!
Amy Adams Gives First Class Seat to American Soldier
Amy Adams noticed an American soldier on her airplane ride from Detroit to Los Angeles. Quietly, she offered her first-class seat to a soldier who was in coach.
An onlooker in first class noticed what happened and tweeted the event. “I just thought it was incredibly generous and thoughtful. I’ve been a big fan of hers, but now I’m an even bigger fan,” the onlooker said.
“The flight attendant even remarked to me that in all her years of service she has never seen a celebrity do something like that. Regular people, yes. But not a celeb.”
Thank you to Amy for being such a lovely, classy lady.
Boston Marathon Survivor Returns to Work
Jeff Bauman survived the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013. Even though he lost both of his legs in the bombings, Jeff believes he is even stronger.
In June, Jeff also returned to work at Costco after not working for 14 months due to the tragedy. Today, we celebrate survivors everywhere who make the best of their situation and inspire others to do the same.
Who is a survivor that you know? Write us at email@example.com.
Golden Retriever Found After Two Year Search
A Golden Retriever has found his way home after being lost for two years in the Tahoe National Forest. The owners are absolutely ecstatic that their precious puppy has found his way home after being on his own for two years. It is truly a miracle.
Tell us about your puppy (readers know they will hear more stories about Brian, CFN’s pup)! Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hannah & Jesse
Ladies, take a look to your right.
Yes, this picture is real. It is from Hannah and Jesse Scroggins’ wedding (Hannah is today’s Classy Lady!). As we embrace wedding season, we celebrate the ladies like Hannah who have found their true love.
Hannah says she and Jesse had one desire on their wedding: that God be glorified. “And He certainly was!” Hannah says. “It’s a day we will always remember.”
Hannah’s advice for future brides? “Your wedding day only last 24 hours, and your marriage is a lifetime. Remind yourself not to get caught up in the details of the flowers or the flavor of your wedding cake. Don’t worry, if there is good food and plenty of wine, all you need to remember is sit back, relax, and celebrate!”
Congratulations, Hannah and Jesse!
Saved After Treading Water for 14 Hours
Two boaters fell out of their boat this weekend and literally tread cold, ocean water for 14 hours. They were away from their boats and could not find flotation devices.
Thankfully, an off-duty firefighter and an off-duty detective happened to notice the two treading water while the off-duty gentlemen were passing through on their boat. The two treading water were noticed 10 miles away.
It is an absolute miracle.
A Thursday Night
Sometimes, just celebrating a Thursday night (and art!) is the most fun way to spend an evening.
Last night, several of my friends were able to celebrate The Art Institute of Chicago, and we celebrated much past CFN’s usual bedtime. It was such a fun and happy night (even if my request to play a Taylor Swift song was politely declined). It was almost like time stopped – we all got to enjoy the moment, being out on a weeknight, and simply treasure the time we all have with each other.
Everyone is so busy – it can be quite a challenge to coordinate with everyone’s schedules. But for an evening when people are reunited, mingle, and just have fun, well – that is something to celebrate in our book.
What are you celebrating this weekend? Write us at email@example.com, and we’ll feature your celebrations next week.
LA Dodgers Pitcher Clayton Kershaw Pitched a “No-Hitter”
On Wednesday evening, the Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB baseball) team had a lot of celebrating to do. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw pitched a “no hitter” in a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies. A “no hitter” means a team doesn’t make one hit (which results in the team not running to any bases).
In the game, 15 Rockies didn’t even get a “walk” (when the pitcher throws four balls not exactly over home plate, then the batter gets to walk to first base) or even a hit.
This is the second time all season that the LA Dodgers have had a “no hitter” game. The last time a team has had two no-hitter games in one season? 1972.
Congrats to the Dodgers!
Abby Is Five Years Cancer Free
In today’s Classy Lady column, we celebrate Abby Wood, who beat Stage IV cancer and has celebrated five years of being cancer free. We celebrate that Abby sees her final turning point.
“Finishing chemo and radiation was the first turning point, then graduating college, then dealing with some weight issues from the chemo, then my hip surgery – now I feel like I’m almost done. I celebrated my five year anniversary of being cancer free last August 2013, and my oncologist took my hands in hers and said this: ‘This is your second birthday, the world is yours.’
“I have so much ahead of me, the road is an open slate, and as much as these past 6 years have changed me forever, I am so excited to put it all in my past and finally start fulfilling my dreams. So happy second birthday to me – this classy lady is about to make moves!”
We are so proud of you, Abby! Today, CFN™ celebrates you!
Ladies in the Gym
Today, we celebrate the four women who were in my building’s gym this morning at 5:20am. They were the only people in there, but each woman was working to improve herself and to make herself stronger.
The things we celebrate are not always momentous. Sometimes, they’re things like knowing someone kindly held the door for you, let you have the taxi cab even though someone else was there first, or someone said “bless you” when you sneezed.
Write us what you are celebrating at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Celebrate Our Dads
This weekend, we celebrate our fathers – our dads, our grandfathers, our uncles, our father figures. These men have made it their life’s work to guide us, to inspire us, and to love us.
Some of you went golfing or out to brunch with your dad. Some of you looked through old photos of you and your father, your grandfather, your father figure, and you laughed at the photos from 20 years ago. That is very special.
Brigid is a classy lady who spent Fathers Day with her dad. They went on a long walk outside and enjoyed the weather by relaxing outside and cooking dinner together.
“He is the guy who taught me the importance of hard work, doing what makes me happy, and the importance of a positive attitude,” Brigid says.
Thank you to all the dads out there!
$100 Gift Comes Back
Dee submitted this heartwarming story, and we think it’ll put you in even greater spirits as we head off into the weekend.
When Dee was walking home from work, she encountered a young, homeless girl on the street with a sign asking for help to return home. “There was something special about her,” Dee said, which made her stop to ask the girl how much it would take to get home.
The girl told Dee it costs $75 to return home on the bus. Dee asked the girl to promise she would use money for a bus ticket. After the girl promised, Dee went to the ATM and gave the girl a $100 bill.
The girl was so touched that she hugged Dee and repeated how grateful she was. When Dee arrived home and told her daughters what happened, Dee’s daughters said, “I’m sure she won’t use the money to go home, Mom! What were you thinking?” Even so, Dee felt confident in her decision.
A few weeks later, one of Dee’s daughters was in a car accident. It wasn’t series, but Dee’s daughter was still shaken. As Dee’s daughter was on the side of the road, a woman came up to her and handed her a $100 bill. The woman said, “You may need this.”
The $100 bill that Dee put out into the world came back to help her daughter. What a beautiful, heartwarming story.
Happy 11th Birthday, Brian!
Eleven years ago today, this sweet little angel was born.
He’s not just an angel. He’s also a watchdog. He will bark and bark and bark at big, bad dogs until the big dog turns around to say hello. Then, my dear, sweet bichipoo named Brian turns around and heads home.
Brian is our baby. He’s the glue that keeps us all together. We all agree Brian understands English. He likes to eat toothbrushes (amongst many other things…). He likes girls who pet him (and really any girl). He’s been asked to leave cross country meets, lacrosse games, and many other sporting events because he barks the whole time. He’s still our sweet little puppy who will always be a puppy (he’s either known as “puppy” or “baby”).
He likes long walks, getting his belly rubbed, and treats. He does not like cats, especially cats that my grandma pets in front of him. He likes to play (but not in the snow – it hurts his puppy paws after a while). Mostly, Brian likes to be happy.
Today, we celebrate Brian whose birthday began eleven years of happiness in our family (and many others!). We love you, Brian!!
Clare’s Starbucks Cup
Clare submitted a story a few weeks ago about her wallet almost getting stolen at a local Starbucks. Two baristas started shouting when they saw a man put his hand inside our reader’s purse, and luckily, the man ran off without any of our reader’s belongings.
Because of these baristas selflessness and the store’s convenient location, Clare decided to continue to return to this Starbucks. Yesterday, Clare wrote she was not having the best day and had even begun to argue with her mom (with whom she is very close). Clare wrote, “It was raining, and I just wanted to leave work and take a break from the world!”
Even though Clare felt negative, she remained positive. “I thought I’d walk into a Starbucks, get a drink, and feel a little better,” she says.
“When I got to the counter, I encountered one of the baristas who helped save my wallet. We said our hellos as we usually do, and then I shared my drink order. Immediately after he put my order in, I saw a negative balance due on the screen. He winked and said, ‘I got it. You’re good.’”
Claire was thrilled. Her bad day was immediately wiped away with the barista’s kindness, and she let him know. “I told him he made my day, especially after I was having a not-so-great one! Something so little made my day and reminded me of how positive the world can be. It’s very easy to focus on the negatives, but we must daily search for the positives.”
So glad you had a better day, Clare!
Hunter Carries Braden 40 Miles
Over the weekend, Hunter Gandee carried his 7-year-old brother Braden 40 miles on his back in an effort to raise cerebral palsy awareness. Braden was born with cerebral palsy, and as a great big brother, Hunter wanted to raise awareness of Braden’s condition and to celebrate Braden’s sweet 7-year-old spirit.
After walking 25 miles on Saturday and 15 miles in Michigan on Sunday, Hunter and Braden finished their trek welcomed by friends, family, and more who were in support of Hunter’s desire to spread cerebral palsy awareness.
We celebrate brothers like Hunter and Braden. Hunter literally carried Braden on his back, and metaphorically, he probably does, too. Sometimes, we all need someone to carry us. Who carries you? Write us at email@example.com.
Malavath Mounts Everest
At 13 years old and 11 months, Malavath Poorna is now the youngest person to reach Mount Everest’s summit. She grew up very poor in a small tribal village, but that did not deter her from reaching her dreams.
When Malavath reached the summit, she “felt too much emotion, too much joy,” she tells a magazine. “All around me, beauty – mountains, sunshine, clouds. I could feel God there. I was grateful and too happy.”
Malavath learned to climb at her school from an enforcement official. She says she plans on a career in law enforcement because of the individual who changed her life and encouraged her to climb.
Even climbing arguably the most dangerous mountain in the world, Malavath was fearless. She passed six dead bodies and still didn’t let fear stop her. “I got some fear and immediately, I remember my secretary, my parents… and I got my courage and strength, energy,” she said.
Congratulations, Malavath! What an incredible accomplishment – especially at such a young age.
Ana is an athlete. As she says, though, she is not like everyone else. She was born with spina bifida, which affects her motor skills and affects her neurologically. There is a lesion in her lower spine, which compromises her from the waist down. For long journeys, Ana uses a wheelchair.
Despite her challenges, Ana has found her joy in swimming, thanks to GLASA (Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association). “I have found my joy, my independence, self-esteem and determination in life through learning that I have more abilities than my disability. I have truly found this magic through sports programs, such as swimming and sled hockey, that GLASA has provided.”
Reaching her dreams is becoming a reality, as Ana was chosen to represent the U.S. in England this summer. One of the most important parts of the journey, though, is how swimming has affected Ana as a person. “It has forced me to put myself out there, and learn to understand my inner self as I continue to grow in confidence.”
Ana needs your help to make this dream come true. No donation is too small. Click here and here for more information. As Ana beautifully says, “I am grateful for every day and for every amazing person who has come into my life. Thank you!” Ana’s story is certainly something to celebrate.
Celebrate the Graduates & Olivia
No matter where you are in life, graduations deserve to be celebrated. A kindergarten graduation is just as precious as a college graduation. This weekend, though, many of you celebrated college graduations, and we would like to celebrate your graduates.
There is a special college graduate out there who majored in communication studies and minored in marketing and Asian studies. And yes, to develop more of her Asian study skills, she spent one semester in Beijing.
Her name is Olivia.
We are so proud of Olivia at CFN™. Olivia has accomplished so much in four years, whether that’s taking a risk and moving to Beijing for four months, celebrating every Golden Eagles basketball win (an UConn win…), hanging with her best friends (and Brian) in their apartment, enjoying a run by the lake, laughing with her friends, or loving class, Olivia has made the most of her college experience.
We are thrilled for graduates everywhere. Like Olivia, you have maximized your experiences. Like Olivia, it may be bittersweet for you to leave a place you have called home. The memories will stay with you. It will always be in your heart.
Congratulations, Olivia! Congratulations, graduates! We are thrilled for you!
Boys on Britain’s Got Talent Sing Anti-Bullying Rap & Inspire Us
Two British boys on Britain’s Got Talent stunned the crowd with their rap song this week. Leondre Devries (13; brown haired boy), was bullied in primary school and went through a very difficult time. “When I used to be down in the dumps, I used to write down my raps. I could express myself by what I was writing down,” he said.
“I’m just a kid, how can I take it on my own, I cried too many tears writing this song… I wake up every day, don’t want to leave my home, my mama’s asking me, why I’m always alone…I come to school, I don’t want to fight, I want to learn, so please Mr. Bully, tell me what I’ve done, you know I have no dad, I’m living with my mom,” he raps.
To address the situation, Leondre stood up to the bully and ended up moving schools. Now, he is sharing his story with his fellow-singer, Charlie Lenehan (in the musical group Bars & Melody) and with the world.
“Just be hopeful, hopeful, yes I am hopeful for today, take this music and use it, let it take you away. And be hopeful.”
The audience roared for these two and stood up to cheer before the song even ended. By the time the song ended, all four judges (including the famously grumpy Simon Cowell) stood up to praise the boys.
Bad things happen in the world – bullies (which aren’t just stuck in middle school) are one example. But there can still be good. This clip is proof of it.
Watch the video, and you will be in tears and cheering for these precious boys (I have balled like a baby each time I’ve watched the whole 8 minutes; 5:52 is just about the best second ever). Even if you’re bullied, you can overcome it. You can share your story. You can make other people stronger. You can inspire others, as these boys have.
At CFN™, this celebrate story will forever be in our hearts. Thank you to these boys for reminding us that from hardship, you can find the good. As the boys sing, “Just be hopeful.”
A reader kindly submitted this adorable picture of a couple holding hands on a busy Chicago street.
Cars are bustling by, and people are more concerned with where they needed to be five minutes ago, this couple is living in the moment. Her hand in his, they walk together with love and with the hope that each step will bring them even closer together.
You can’t help but smile when looking at this picture. You can’t see their faces, but you know this couple is happy. Relationships are certainly hard, and even the perfect couple doesn’t have a perfect relationship. Nonetheless, this couple chooses to enjoy the moment.
Who is holding your hand? Whose hand are you holding? This picture is a sweet reminder that no matter where we are in life, the joy of holding someone’s hand is always possible.
Valeria Teaches and Receives Sweetest Note from Student
Valeria Aguilar absolutely exemplifies what a Classy Lady should be. Not only does she have amazing talent and see the world in a beautiful way, Valeria recognizes the power of teaching. One of Valeria’s students recognizes just how special Valeria is, too.
To Valeria, the most rewarding thing about playing the piano is being able to help and connect with other people. This past semester, Valeria taught a nine-year-old girl to play the piano, calling this teaching opportunity “one of the most gratifying experiences” she has ever had.
“I taught her to read music, how to use the pedals, and different ways of creating sounds. I was very happy with her progress. At the end of our last lesson, she gave me a beautiful letter saying that she really enjoyed learning the piano. She was my first student, and her letter means a lot to me. It has motivated me to continue teaching.”
Take a look at the precious letter to your right. Valeria has a gift, and she has shared her gift with this adorable nine-year-old. Because Valeria gave back, this nine-year-old’s life has been positively impacted and may be forever changed.
This super sweet note is certainly something to celebrate. Well done, Valeria! Check out the full feature on Valeria in today’s Classy Lady section. xoxo
Jessie & Eric Are Engaged!
After five years of dating long distance, Eric proposed to Jessie last week. Isn’t that one of the sweetest Celebrate stories you could even imagine? It gets even sweeter.
To Jessie, it was a normal Wednesday. She arrived home after running some shopping and casually set her purse down on the kitchen counter. Her eyes turned to the cookie cake box. As someone who loves cookies, Jessie turned to her boyfriend, Eric, “What is this?”
Eric replied, “It’s something your mom had asked me to pick up for your law school graduation this weekend.” (Yes, Jessie got proposed to and graduated from law school within one week – talk about something to celebrate!) Then, Eric casually slipped into the next room before saying Jessie could “peak” in the box.
“Peak” she did. When she opened the cookie cake box, the cookie had a sweet message: “Jessie, Will You Marry Me?”
Jessie says her heart stopped. She was stunned. Her jaw dropped, and she pulled her hat up to her chest. “It was surreal. When I turned around, I saw Eric on one knee. It all happened so quickly, and of course, I said yes!”
The story continues to sweeten – to capture the magic of the moment, Eric had secretly recorded the whole thing.
Jessie could not be happier. “He is my best friend, soul mate, and the true love of my life. I hope that all girls out there can find the perfect complement in a man.”
We are so happy for you, Jessie! Congratulations!!
The Washington Monument Re-Opens Today
In 2011, the 130-year-old Washington Monument in D.C. closed after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake caused some structural damage (including over 150 cracks). Three years later, the monument is poised to open today.
Congress allocated $7.5 million to the monument’s restoration, which is a testament to George Washington and one of D.C.’s main tourist attractions.
Private equity investor, David Rubenstein, also donated $7.5 million for the monument’s restoration. As he said, “It became clear to me that the Washington Monument symbolizes our country – the freedoms, patriotism, George Washington, leadership. So, it’s been moving to see how many people are affected by it.”
We celebrate that the Washington Monument will open today at 1pm ET.
After 78 Years, Twins Meet for the First Time
78 years ago, twin sisters were separated the day they were born. This week, they have been reunited after not seeing each other since being in their mama’s womb.
One of the twin sisters lives in England, and the other lives in California. A whole continent and nearly a century has kept them a part, but a psychology professor and the twins’ children encouraged the women to find each other.
After their father left, the mother of the twins felt she had to give up one of the twin girls in order to be able to support them. One of the twins was born with a curved spine, so their mother didn’t want to give her up because it may be harder for her to get adopted. So, one of the sisters was adopted in the U.S., and the twins spent their lifetime apart.
To the sisters, it was “a shock and a joy”. How truly wonderful that sisters were able to connect after so much time. We will celebrate our mothers this weekend, but we should be celebrating our mothers and our sisters every day. It’s not always easy, but can you imagine your life without either one of them?
Now, these twins don’t have to imagine life without each other. The 78-year-old women will get a fresh chance at a life together. That is something to celebrate.
Helena Costa Becomes First Woman to Coach a Top Two Division Soccer Team
Portuguese soccer coach, Helena Costa, will become the first female manager ever to coach one of Europe’s top two divisions in professional soccer. In her appointment, she will coach France’s men’s soccer club. The U.S. hasn’t even had a woman coach for a men’s soccer league. As Helena says, she “opened a door today, and more women will walk through on my back. That is what I hope.”
Even though she grew up and wasn’t permitted to watch soccer in her own home, Costa has set a milestone for women everywhere. She has coached other leagues – women’s soccer leagues in Qatar and Iran, along with a men’s team that only competes within Portugal.
Both women and men have risen up to support Costa. Sonia Souid, who helped propose Costa as France’s coach, said, “I think it’s a great day for all women in sports.” A male goalkeeper on France’s team said, “I feel anything that goes in the direction of progress – away from discrimination against race, gender, or religion, is positive.”
Costa knows the hard work has only just begun but says she is “ready. I sleep well with the pressure.”
Congratulations to Helena Costa!
A Family of Geese Go for a Walk on an Expressway
A family of adorable Canadian geese found themselves walking in the left shoulder of the highway on Tuesday. Kind drivers were careful to drive around the geese and let the five geese walk in peace. As you can see, the parents are much bigger than their three baby geese, who cannot fly.
However, the geese eventually started walking into other lanes and ended up blocking the whole expressway. The expressway was eventually literally shutdown so the geese could be protected. So, a police truck and a police car ended up guarding the geese as the geese trotted from the left lane of a five-land highway all the way to the very right lane. The cute geese family is now safe.
We recommend you check out this three-minute video, which sweetly highlights the geese’s rescue. A big thank you to the sweet CFN™ reader who submitted this story.
If a whole expressway can be shutdown to protect five geese who were just going on a little family excursion, there is certainly proof in the world that much good exists. This is definitely worth celebrating.
Are you seeing other animals on the highway? What else should we celebrate? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to hear from you!
Breakfast for Soldiers
A kind CFN™ reader shared this story, which is truly something to celebrate.
A CFN™ reader was at breakfast one morning and noticed a group of military men on her way out of breakfast. As someone with grandparents in the military, she grew up especially respecting the men and women who fight for our freedom. On the way out of the restaurant, the CFN™ reader asked the hostess to give her a call when the military men were ready for their check so she could pay for their breakfast as a small thank you.
When the hostess didn’t call the CFN™ reader in a half hour or so, she tried calling the restaurant to pay for the men’s meal. When the hostess answered the phone call, the hostess explained that another restaurant patron had asked to pay for the military men’s breakfast, so the breakfast had already been paid for.
Out of the goodness of her heart, the kind CFN™ reader wanted to pay a tribute to the men and women who defend our country. The sweetest surprise is that someone else had also offered to buy our servicemen and women breakfast. Doesn’t that get your day off to a great start?
It’s stories like these that remind us not only are there wonderful things to celebrate, but also that we are proud to be American.
What good in the world are you seeing? Your celebrations are important, and we would love to hear them. Please email email@example.com with your celebrations. Thank you!
This weekend, thousands of women donned beautiful, big hats and men were dapper in seersucker and bow ties to celebrate the 140th Kentucky Derby.
Beyond the fancy and fun outfits, there was something else to celebrate – California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby horse race to become a national champion. Art Sherman, California Chrome’s trainer, is a 77-year-old man who has now become the oldest trainer to ever win a derby.
A horse without the most prestigious background, the oldest trainer currently working, and a fan-favorite has now become the most celebrated colt this year. His owners believe California Chrome’s next stop is to win the Triple Crown – by winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes (in Maryland), and Belmont Stakes (in New York) all in one year.
We will continue to look out for California Chrome’s success (by donning our seersucker and big hats “just because” this summer) and celebrate the colt who has defined the odds. The horse reminds us what our potential could be – no matter what your age or your background – you can accomplish whatever your mind and your heart desire.
What are you seeing out there in the world that is worth celebrating? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
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