Friday, July 5, 2013

Cause Celeb (I Stole That)

I usually skip the blather, on-line or in print, of the stultifying details of the inconsequential matters of the lives of the celebrities we create. It was one instance of the garbage that gets tossed at us from all sides that was the catalyst for this blog. But as we all know there are good people out there, even among the mainstream spotlight.

Cheers to the folks at USA Weekend - or shall I say cheers to those involved - for spotlighting some of the people we see on screen who are doing even greater things off-camera.

Think you guys could devote a little more space to them?

*** Chris O'Donnell, featured in last week's issue, is helping feed America's less fortunate children. Check out and share his video What If Your Child Was The One? and one meal will be donated to Feeding America.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Making A Splash in Community Safety

Bobby Hazen of Shirley, Long Island didn't set out to set up a task force. He wasn't even planning on getting wet. But in 2001, in the course of his involvement with Long Island's Saf-T-Swim schools, he had to fill in as a swim instructor. So he jumped in, literally. And he discovered something even more important than a newfound hobby.

Every year, he explains in this article, the phone at the swim school would light up after another tragedy - one of a child drowning in a pool. This spawned the Long Island Drowning Prevention Task Force, which has grown to encompass the involvement of an impressive list of participants and disseminates safety information to families and schools all over the area - on top of their efforts in the pool.

It is difficult if not impossible to gauge the success of Bobby Hazen's efforts in numbers. How can you count how many children have not drowned because of the efforts of his community? Instead we can think about all the people he has reached out to, all the parents he has informed and influenced, all the children he has helped understand there are things to be aware of before they go jumping off the deep end. And consider that maybe, in all those families, every single child has been able to go over to mom or dad after their swim to dry off and maybe get a giggle and a hug.

These happy endings to a day in the pool are his understated legacy.