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Sunshine on a Cloudy Day stories

Stories from Sunshine on a Cloudy Day on the My 93.9 Wake Up Call

A poor girl from a tribal village in India became the youngest female to climb Mt. Everest.

Malavath Poorna, a member of India’s lowest Dalit caste, wanted to take on the challenge to bring recognition to her community and to encourage her peers to pursue their dreams. “The aim of my expedition was to inspire young people and students from my kind of background,” she told the BBC. “For a tribal girl like me, opportunities are very rare and I was looking for one opportunity where I could prove my caliber.”

Malavath made the climb along with her friend Anand Kumar, as well as an experienced mountaineer and a group of sherpas. They reached the peak and promptly hoisted the Indian flag at the finish.

Malavath’s accomplishment is even more remarkable considering that she reached the peak from the more difficult Tibetan side. Most people attempt the climb from the Nepalese side, but the country doesn’t allow climbers younger than 16 to scale the mountain.

Quadriplegic girl walks for graduation

Bryan Wood —  Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It was a beautiful moment when a wheelchair-bound high school student walked across the stage at graduation to receive her diploma.

Katharine Clark, who was born with cerebral palsy and is considered a quadriplegic, graduated from Columbia High School last week. Katharine’s dad, Vince, had always promised to carry her everywhere. He passed away in 2007. Inspired by her father, Katharine set a goal at the beginning of her freshman year: to walk across the stage at graduation.

“I want to make my dad proud,” Katharine said. Katharine practiced for two years using special equipment to help her stand. With tears streaming down her face, she walked across the stage on Friday.

Something seemed a little different about Principal John Becchio as he made his rounds at Santa Barbara High School last week. Was it the trumpeter? The violinist? Or the guitar and guitarron players? Probably all four.

The mariachi group that greeted Becchio in his office and followed him for an hour was a prank played by this year’s senior class. The Santa Barbara Unified School District posted photos and video of the prank on its website last week.

An Atlanta teen used a rope to climb 15 feet down a storm drain to rescue a 3 year old boy who had fallen in. Duntrey Murray, 14, had been playing basketball nearby with pal Ransom McCain in northwest Atlanta when neighbors heard the cries of Jaylin Willis. Jaylin had plummeted down the uncovered sewer while chasing a ball.

Murray and McCain responded quickly. Though McCain could not fit into the hole, Murray could. He used a rope to descend and retrieve the child. “I put the baby on my chest and waited til the ambulance and fire department got here, and then they pulled me up” Murray said. Jaylin had a bump on his head and received stitches on his chin.

The internet just earned a diploma for its generosity.

A struggling dad mentioned on Reddit that attending his son’s high school graduation was on his bucket list — and readers responded big time. They helped user branch455 find a cheap bus ticket for the 460-mile round-trip journey between the Florida cities of Tallahassee and Eustis, provided him with a hotel room, and drove him from the bus stop to his hotel.

The do-good dialogue on the Reddit thread reflects one of the best components of social media.

The dad, who explained he could “barely make ends meet” and “had a car on its last legs,” did make his son’s big day on May 30 and posted photos of the ceremony on Imgur earlier this week. He thanked Reddit for making it happen: “You have turned one bad week into something really special and heart warming.”

91 Year Old Just Ran A Marathon

Bryan Wood —  Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego this year saw one record setting runner: 91 year old Harriette Thompson, who is now the oldest woman to complete in the Southern California race. She’s also the second oldest marathon runner in U.S. history.

With a finish time of 7 hours, 7 minutes and 42 seconds, she also broke the U.S. record for the fastest marathon run in the 90-94 age group, breaking the previous record by over an hour. Ready for the trifecta? Thompson, who came all the way from North Carolina to compete, is a cancer survivor.

Carter’s Crew Walks to Cure Diabetes

Bryan Wood —  Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On Sunday May 18th…the JDRF Walk to CURE Diabetes was held at RIT to raise awareness and funds for diabetes research.  A local family had 220 members help form their team, Carter’s Crew.  They raised over $11,545.  In the 5 years Carter’s Crew has been involved in the JDRF Walk to CURE Diabetes they have raised OVER $45,700.  Every year Carter’s Crew has been the largest team at the walk.

Carter’s Crew is in support of Carter Davis, age 12, who was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes at the age of  8 years old.  Since being diagnosed in 2009 Carter has endured OVER 18,200 needle sticks just to test his blood sugar in the 4 1/2 years since diagnosis…that’s NOT counting the number of shots of insulin given to him OR the over 800 site changes he has had to have…in just 4 1/2 years.  Type 1 Diabetes is an incurable disease that is with him 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/ year…there is NEVER a vacation from it.

Having 220 people drive to RIT in support of Carter shows what a wonderful, caring community we live in.  To see a video showing what life with Type 1 Diabetes is like go toYouTube and search ‘Carter’s Crew Walk 2014’.

Carter lives in Dansville with his parents, Kevin and Cindy Davis and his older twin brothers, Curtis and Cameron Davis (age 17).

Sriram Hathwar from Corning has been crowned so-champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He won the title Thursday night in Washington, D.C.

It was a nail-biter back and forth the whole way. Sriram and Ansun Sujoe both missed words in the same round at one point, so the competition continued. In the Championship Round, started when there are three spellers, or less, there are only 25 words, and both boys kept getting words right, so they started running out.

Sriram had one last word, and spelled “stichomythia”, a dialogue, especially of altercation, correctly. It was then up to Ansun, who, despite not being able to pronounce “feuilleton”, which is part of a European newspaper, and using nearly all of his time, got it right.

Both boys were crowned co-champions. It’s the first time that’s happened at the Bee since 1962.

The Heart Remembers

Bryan Wood —  Friday, May 30, 2014

Melvyn Amrine, of Little Rock, Ark., may not remember the details of his life since his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but he recently proved that his love for his wife transcends memory.

According to CBS News Melvyn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago and since then it hasn’t been easy for his wife., Doris.   Melvyn at times doesn’t remember details like whether he proposed to his wife, or vice versa. However a recent holiday prompted Melvyn to remember the most important thing.

On the day before Mother’s Day, Melvyn went missing. Considering he normally requires assistance to do any walking, his family was alarmed and notified the police.

Police found Melvyn,  2 miles from his house, resolute in his goal.  You see he was going to the store to buy flowers for his wife for Mother’s Day, just like he had done every year since they had their first child.

Sgt. Brian Grigsby and Officer Troy Dillard were touched by Melvyn’s determination, and decided to help the elderly man complete his mission by taking him to a store and even paying for the flowers.

Sgt. Grigsby told CBS News “We had to get those flowers. “We had to get them. I didn’t have a choice.”

Melvyn’s flowers made a very sweet surprise for his wife of 60 years, Doris, as well as a reminder to the rest of us that love knows no obstacles.

Doris said “when I saw him walking up with those flowers in hand, it just about broke my heart because I thought ‘Oh he went there to get me flowers because he loves me.”  “It’s special, because even though the mind doesn’t remember everything, the heart remembers.”

Frank Hollister began his service in the U.S. Army on Sept. 11, 1969, and served through September 1971, but, his commitment and dedication to veterans has been unending. His dedication to seeing that veterans receive the benefits they are entitled to and deceased veterans are not forgotten has been unwavering.

Those efforts recently earned Mr. Hollister, director of the Livingston County Veterans Service Agency, and a place in the state Veterans’ Hall of fame.

Hollister, has served Livingston County veterans since May 2004 and those in Wyoming County before then. While articulating concerns among 21 different veteran-related organizations, he helps to coordinate local ceremonies and meets with veterans daily to help them identify and apply for benefits they are entitled to as a result of their military service.

Livingston County Administrator Ian Coyle said that  Mr. Hollister’s dedication to the mission of delivering prompt and effective service to our veterans is unparalleled, describing him as dogged in his pursuit of claims through an often complex web of bureaucracy at the Federal government level.

Hollister was recognized at a May 20 ceremony in Albany. He has served as a Legionnaire for 40 years and has had numerous positions at the post, district and county level and participates in parades, memorial services and visits veterans in local nursing homes and hospitals. Hollister helps coordinate the semi-annual ceremony at Veterans’ Memorial Park, in Warsaw, and makes sure the American flag and armed forces flags are proudly displayed. Hollister also works with local high schools and gets young adults involved in supplying deployed troops with care packages and has helped organize the “Adopt a Platoon” program.

Frank Hollister reminds us of the debt of gratitude we owe all of the men and women who have died in service to our country and the importance of assisting those who have served, do serve and will serve in the future.