A Special Day For A Special Guy

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - May 14, 2008
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Dear Pamela,

I want to thank the wonderful people who pitched in to help make my brother Brian’s 50th birthday bash a special time for him. Some of these people did not even know Brian! I decided to make his birthday a fundraiser for ALS research. Brian has had ALS for more than six years himself. Esther, Sandra and Bruce helped with decorating. The Seventh-day Adventist Aiea Ohana entertained with ukulele and a 30-member children’s choir. Naomi, Kara and Jaycee danced hula. Josh and Bill played guitar. Cecilia, Brian’s mom, even sang a few German songs. Chuck did a great job handling the sound system. Pastor Charlie and Pastor Jeff did the blessings. Rae Gee from the Mayor’s Office read a proclamation. Amber from Amber Productions sang and entertained as Marilyn Monroe. Food was donated by Don Murphy of Murphy’s Bar and Grill, Karen Yamaoka of Karen’s Kitchen, Hannah, Gloria and my co-worker Karen. Convalescent Center of Honolulu provided the location. The Hawaii Visitor’s Bureau pitched in, and Brittany from the MDA also was a big help. Everyone’s kokua made Brian’s birthday most memorable for him and helped raise more than $1,000 for ALS research. I am very humbled and grateful. Mahalo to everyone for your donations, wishes and greetings.

Kathy O’Connor
Ala Moana

Dear Kathy,

Pastor Charlie Gumm of Community Lutheran Church says Brian has an amazing, uplifting attitude. “I admire him so much,” he says. “Brian can only move his eyebrows, yet he’s so positive. I’ve been visiting him every Thursday for about four years now. I think I get more out of the visit than I give to him. He has faith in the Lord and knows there’s a reason for his difficult situation. Brian is an incredible person.”

Aloha Pamela,

I was driving home from work early in the morning before sunrise and pulled into a Chevron station to get some gas.

Being between payday and my ever-increasing adjustable mortgage, I was forced to raid my piggy bank for a total of $2 - all in pennies! This would be enough to barely get me home. I walked into the station and put the change down on the counter and apologized for having it all in pennies. The clerk told me that he didn’t need any more pennies. I thought I might have to go to another station. Then he said, “Don’t worry, take back your money, I’ll cover you for the gas. Is $5 OK?” I told him, are you kidding, you’re going to buy my gas? He said, “Sure, I do it all the time.” After thanking him a few times and telling him he saved our day (my wife was in the car, too), I proceeded to pump the $5 worth of gas he gave me. While I was pumping, he peeked his head out the door and told me, “When you’re done pumping, stay there, I’m going to put $5 more in for you.” I was incredulous, and holding back my tears, at this point, in gratitude for this total stranger and his kind act. After pumping the gas, my wife and I both walked back in the station and thanked him wholeheartedly for his assistance.

It’s people like this that make you realize there are good people in the world. Sometimes they appear in unlikely places and in unlikely times. I never got this gentleman’s name, but he works the graveyard shift at Chevron.

Steven Verdekel
Ewa Beach

Dear Steven,

Your angel was Clemente Cintron. This was not the first time he’s paid for other people’s gas. “I like doing nice things,” he says. “I see how some people really have a tough time putting gas in their tanks when they have to go to work, so I help out if I can. Some of them even pay me back.”

(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail pyoung@kitv.com. Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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