DOGS AND CATS

Dogs have expressive faces. Cats do not. Don’t let anyone tell you that they can tell what a cat is thinking by the look on their face. Their faces are blank. If you look at the big cats, pumas, ocelots, lynx, panthers, lions and tigers, they all have not expressions unless they are opening up their maws and showing their fangs. Dogs have the ability to make you think that they are expressing themselves. They shake their tails and their bodies. They bark and jump around and make some sort of guttural sound. The prance and jump and generally look like they are really happy. When they are sad, they just lie there with their muzzles on the floor looking for all the world like they lost their best friend.
We have this great desire to anthropomorphize our pets. How many times have you heard someone say that, “ I was away for a few days and when I came home, my ( fill in a word) was so happy to see me. Really, how about they want a treat or for you to rub their backs or bellies. I am not speaking without some first hand knowledge of dogs and cats. We have had a few. Our dog Smokey who we had from 1977 to 1992 was a mongrel of the collie, shepard, huskie faith. She was a very dumb, but lovable dog ( here I go contradicting myself). Smokey never did anything that we asked of her. She was so accepting of us, that when we came home one evening and gave her a treat and then saw that she had overturned a lamp, that Carol reached into her gorge and pulled the treat back out. She never whimpered, chomped down on Carol’s hand or did anything but look up at us.
She was content pulling on her leash and once off her leash, by accident, running after buses, chasing other animals or just running at full speed. She somehow ingratiated herself into our family at an early age with our children. We believe that we rescued her from a family that might have left her in a forest at age 6 weeks. In some ways, Smokey was pretty fierce. I did see her run after a bird in back of our house in Kutztown and run down a large bird and kill it and bring it to me and drop it in front of my feet. Somehow, her genes must have included this skill. I never taught her to do it. As a matter of fact, we could never teach her to do anything. We had other, professional types, try and train her to no avail.
Two incidents highlight her existence in a nutshell. Our daughter, Dara, age 8, asked if she could bring Smokey into school as a show and tell item. We discussed Smokey’s problems and decided that it was worth a try. Dara took her into school, with Carol and me along and watched in fascination as Smokey sat stock still while 25 8 years olds pawed her, put their fingers in her mouth and generally annoyed the heck out of her. She never uttered a sound and let them do what they will.
The other incident is also very strange. Professor Thieu, was a small Vietnamese person who taught at Clarion University. He had come straight from South Vietnam, where he had been a Colonel in the South Vietnamese Army. He taught political science and was much in demand as a speaker. We invited over to our house for dinner one night. We had no clue that he was frightened of dogs. As soon as he came in Smokey ran over to him and started to jump on him. She never did that to anyone else. When he sat down, she would not let him along. Finally, we had to lock her up in the garage. She did not do that before, nor ever again. What was that about? Smokey passed away suddenly at age 15 one day before we moved to Harrisburg in 1992. It was a loss to our family.
We had cats from the time we moved to Kutztown to now. We had various successes and failures, mostly because we thought that I was allergic to cats. Our first cat seemed to disappear through a pipe in our garage and another was given away because of my allergies. We finally acquired a cat when we moved to Clarion. He was called Random Numbers ( after a science fiction cat in a Robert Heinlein book called the Beast). Randy was an outside cat when we lived in both Clarion and Harrisburg. If cats have a termprement, he was very cool. When Smokey would bark at the flying squirrels for a period of time, Random would come over to her and cuff her in the snout to get her to stop. Random was a fierce fighter with other cats and animals. She would bring us trophies from time to time.
When we moved to Harrisburg, we were happy to have Random. We had lost here good pal Smokey and she was in a new area without her companion. Our neighbors, the DeMarcos had two children, Jessica and Chris. Jess came to our house one August day and had this furry creature in her little hand. She was about 6 years old. She told us that this little kitty had been following her all around Rehobeth Beach on their family vacation, but mom and dad would not let her have him. Could we please give him a home and she would watch him whenever we wanted. We took pity on her and took Inkey Dew ( our name). Later we found out from her parents that Jess had been chasing this cat around and finally cornered it and insisted on bringing it home. We now had two cats, both outside.
There was a large orange tabby that roamed the neighborhood and terrorized the other cats. Random stayed at home as she got older and did not go out side much. She was 14 or so, when we looked out the back sliding door and saw that the orange tabby was terrorizing Inkey Dew. We saw the hackles on the back of Random’ s neck rise and he hissed so that you could hear him in other part of the house. We let Random out and he chased the tabby to far, that it never came back. Random died at age 15 or so. Inkey was let alone.
It was shortly after that when Carol awoke one morning and said that Inkey needed a companion. It was early in the morning on June day when we went to the Cumberland County Humane Society and picked up a one year old black cat whose given name was Homer. We renamed him Random Nunbers II. He got along with Inkey immediately. He became and outside cat with a little bit of help from me. I would go outside and encourage him to walk ever further from me and follow Inkey. He became so adept at staying outside that he became kind of a neighborhood cat. He did not pal around with other cats, but called for an English Bulldog that he befriended. They played with each other and groomed each other. Random Numbers II seemed more like a dog than a cat. He also slept on his back, which made him even more of an oddity.
When I would get into the car, open the door and try and get in, somehow Randy knew what was going on and would always hop in and get into the back seat. He was perfectly happy there no matter where I went. That became a problem when he disappeared one day and we could not find him. After a feverish search in and around the neighborhood with the help of our neighbors and the police, we finally gave up.
We sold our house in the Spring of 2006 and moved into a condo with one cat, Inkey Doo. Once again, Carol got up one morning in June and decided that Inkey still needed a friend. This time, we trudged over the Dauphin County Humane Society and picked up a small black cat that we names P.S. ( an afterthought). Although Inkey did not mind P.S., he did not cavort with him as he had done with Random II. Six months after we moved in and 4 months after we got P.S., I got a call from a veterinarian in Lancaster. She had the black cat wandering around her home and took it to the office and looked at the chip in his neck and called me. She asked me to come and pick it up. I was up a tree, three cats? Carol was visiting her sister in Florida and I needed some advice. I called my daughter and daughter-in-law to get their opinions. They both told me it was my responsibility to get my cat back.
I went over to the vet’s office and saw Random II, who looked kind of undernourished, brought him home and tended to his needs. We now have all three cats in our condo. We cannot let them out because of the large street near us. They seem to be happy in their large condo sized cage and play around at all hours of the day and night. The newest one sleeps in Carol’s lap when she is at the computer. Inkey stares at me when I am at my desk, and Random Numbers II practices the harp on the vents around the house.

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THE VALLEY RALLY

I have never seen a better teacher than Carol. It’s not that she is just good with little elementary kids, although she is supreme in that area. Carol has the capacity to draw people into her world. When she is standing in front of a small group of people or a large group of 500 people, folks just automatically pay attention. I think her most disarming attributes are her size, her barely audible voice ( although she can ramp that up when needed) and her look. She is one of the most non-threatening people I have ever seen.
The fact that she has maintained and prospered with her consulting firm, Bright Futures Unlimited, for the last 24 years is a tribute first and foremost to her teaching ability. As you may have read, when we got to Clarion in 1982, the economy of the area was going down the tubes. No, it had already gone down the tubes. Our unemployment rates in the entire area hovered about 25% in a number of our counties and 27% in Venango County. Johnstown was all the rage across the nation with 26% ( rural areas never make the national news until there is a serial killer or a mass murder).
There was no real history of economic development. The area had prospered mostly because of one industry towns ( Brockway Glass, Pennzoil, Joy Manufacturing, Owens Illinois, Quaker State) and the extractive industries, coal, oil and natural gas. Whereas Clarion County once had 36 coal companies, it was down to one or two. Many of the smaller companies were closing up and leaving making getting a job so very hard.
That was the green screen across the area when Carol decided that she was going to go off on her own ( bless her farsightedness). As Andy McKelvey said later on, where there is nothing, there is opportunity. He drummed that into our McKelvey Scholars when he met with them. Carol’s first endeavor, described above was to help youngster get to college. Her second major job was to work with the Superintendent of the Allegheny Clarion Valley School District, Pat Lukasavich, former offensive lineman for Joe Paterno at Penn State in 1972, to open a community school in the school district.
A-C Valley was a school district in 4 counties. Don’t ask me how that happened. When the former Superintendent of School Gerry Pears had a stroke, I, as the I.U. Director went down to help out. Pat was hired soon afterwards. At 6 ft. 7 and about 280 lbs, he was an imposing figure. He and his wife ( shorter than Carol) Marsha were a pair and so was Pat and Carol. They found the fount of all knowledge related to Community Schools in the Flint, Michigan Stewart Mott Foundation. Mott had been Chairman of the Board of GM in the 1930’s and had started the concept of training educators to run schools that would not just be open for the 8 hours when the students were there.
Carol and Pat went to a week long training in Flint and came back enthused as all heck. They had taken the economic development director of the area, Walt Frint with them to get him involved. Soon afterward, Carol and Pat set up a meeting with the entire community. It was called the Valley Rally. Carol did all of the advertisements and kids were sent home with flyers and such. The meeting was to take place on a cold winter’s evening in the high school gym. Lo and behold, 500 people showed. I often wondered what they expected, but they got more than they bargained for.
Carol stood up, after an introduction by Pat and talked, as she would to anyone about the problems of the Valley. She had taped up a bunch of oak tag papers around the gym and asked the crowd to identify the problems of the community. Carol dutifully wrote down each one as they came out. There were many. However, you could see a pattern forming. The crowd was engaged and wanted to continue the litany of woes. Carol stopped at an appropriate point and asked some of the youngsters that she had selected to write each one of the problems on a single oak tag paper pasted on the walls of the gym. The then gave each of the participants a small group of different colored sticky dots and asked each person to put the dots by the problem that they considered to be the most important one.
The results, after counting up all of the dots was amazing. In some ways, you could have predicted what would happen. The economy and jobs were the two highest and education, teen pregnancy, divorce, community followed. Carol then led a discussion about what to do about the economy and wrote down some of the ideas. She also asked how these things might get done and who would do them. She got all kinds of suggestions. Since Walt Frint was there, he was aware of the ideas. The school problems were handled internally with new programs. College going improved over the next few years. Reading scores improved. A new building was built.
Jobs were the hardest to do, but the plans were not for naught, as the 1990’s rolled around, joblessness declined precipitously . Legislators were called. Congressman Clinger and his aide Rick Peltz were brought in to see what had happened. Pat Lukasavich went to see the Secretary of Education to plead for more money for his district. Grants were written and the community got a good jolt to their understanding of what could be done in a unified way.
Did Carol do it all? Probably not, but she was the instigator, the promulgator and the person that community residents had no trouble talking to. One more thing, before she stops me from writing. She did the same kind of thing in Bedford County and they started and education trust fund, and had Allegeny College of MD. Come to Bedford and then Somerset County. The Bedford Springs resort has opened because of lots of local folk’s cooperation. It all started with Carol. I am not allowed to tell you about the time when she got so involved with instigating the community, that she started a riot that appeared on Pittsburgh tv.

HEBREWS AND BOXING

Growing up in the United States as a young jewish kid these days, is sometimes highlighted by a view that Jews are ineffectual athletes. in 1906, the President of Harvard, Dr. Eliot declared that Jews did not have the physical build to be athletes Once past Kevin Youkilis, Yuri Foreman, Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg or Lyle Alzado, it’s tough to come up with Jewish names in the professional sports arena. Boxing is especially bereft of recognizable Jewish names. Since Jews represent such an infinitesimal part of our planet’s population (.002), one would think that over boxing’s history there would be few Jewish fighters or champions. However, the reverse has been true. The first recognized world champion was Daniel Mendoza, a Spanish Jew living in England who revolutionized boxing in the late 1700’s. He was eventually accepted by the King of England and always labeled himself Menoza the Jew.
I guess because my father, who fought as Kid Russia in the 1920’s and my experience in the Lower East Side in the Police Athletic League, I was not unaware of Jewish boxers. Although, the great era of Jewish boxers was on the wane, I had never thought of Jews as only the super Orthodox leaning over the torah scrolls in deep thrall. My scrapes with other kids in the Yeshiva and conflicts with the Cherry St. boys kept me away from believing that Jews could not defend themselves physically.
The Hebrew people of the Old Testament saw themselves as physical warriors. Think of Jacob wrestling with an angel, Samson slaying the lion with the jawbone of an ass, David defeating Goliath, the Macabees, King David and Solomon and many other Old Testament heroes. As a matter of fact, it is only recently that Jews have been seen as lacking in physical prowess. From 1910- 1940, Jewish fighters held 26 boxing titles. Jews have held titles ( and more than one fighter) in all of the major weight classes. Want to see some of them, of course you do:
Heavyweight- Max Baer ( Orthodox Jews would not recognize him as a Jew because his dad was Jewish) However, he always fought with a star of David and called himself a Jew.
Light Heavyweight- Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom 289 fights, Battling Levinsky- 274 fights and held the title for 8 years. Mike Rossman, the Butcher, Bob Olin
Middleweight- Al McCoy- Jake LaMotta was half Jewish was not identified as Jewish
Welterweight- Ted “Kid” Lewis
Lightweight- Benny Leonard- undefeated for 19 years, Barney Ross- three titles- often listed among the greatest fighters of all time
Featherweight- Kid Kaplan, Abe Attel- champion for 8 years
Bantamweight- Charles Phil Rosenberg- 1925-27, Abe Goldstein, Alphone Halimi, Robert Cohen
Flyweight- Victor “Young” Perez ( died in Auschwitz)
There were many other Jewish boxers who were top flight contenders. As with other ethnic groups, Italians, Irish and others, Jews left boxing to the next group of young people from other ethnic backgrounds, who had the hunger to get into the ring and make their mark. It continues today with the story of sports, there is an ebb and flow to who becomes interested in making money and loving the sport. However, Jews made their mark in all of the major sports and then left.

A MIRACLE IN MAY- PART II

Gerry Lenfest was born in Scarsdale N.Y. His dad was a salesman for a large diesel motor manufacturer and was on the road a great deal. His dad had always wanted to live on a farm, so he purchased one in New Jersey and the family moved there. When Gerry was a bout 15, his mom dies and Gerry took it very badly. He started to miss school and general wander around the farm and community. His dad was very worried about Gerry and convened a family gathering. The final result was that Gerry was shipped off to one private residential school and then to Mercersburg Academy in Franklin County. Funny how all of these things come together, Dena McKelvey in Fannett- Metal, Franklin County, Gerry going to Mercersburg and Gerry’s wife Marguerite going to Wilson College, also in Chambersburg in Franklin County.
Gerry claims that Mercersburg changed his life. When we met with Gerry we were ushered into a conference room with a beautiful wood table ( oak or cherry I think). We were sitting there for a few moments when a man wearing a short sleeved shirt came in carrying a rag and a Pledge can and cleaned the table ( obviously a custodian). Two gentlemen came in and introduced themselves as Bruce Melgary and Grahame Richards. Bruce had been the national director of the Heart Fund and Grahame was an attorney who had also been Gerry’s Exec on a naval destroyer. They said that Gerry would soon be coming in. He did, in a few moments, and the custodian became Gerry Lenfest. Yes, Gerry is a plain kind of guy- no ostentatious behavior, dress or accoutrements. He sat down and began talking to us like he had known us for years.
At first, he wanted to start a college scholarship program. We had little trouble convincing him to start in a rural part of PA. We also told him that there was a great need for after school programs. He agreed to both of those things. However, sometime in the latter part of the conversation, he turned us toward the idea of a private residential school scholarship. Carol and I both refused. “We are both public school people, and have no interest in private education,” we chorused. Gerry said, do me a favor, just go and see these schools and we can then talk.
A few weeks later, we talked the superintendent of school in Franklin County to accompany us to see one of the schools- Wyoming Seminary (nothing to do with religion), near Wilkes Barre. On the way up, the supes said some disparaging things about private schools. We toured the school with Randy Granger ( he now calls us mom and dad), the head of admissions and were unbelievably impressed. You can get quite an education for $35,000. At that time the average cost of an average student in a public school was about $7,000 a year. The school was impressive, the kids were doing all kinds of interesting things. Some were going to foreign countries to visit with roommates. They had a Summer reading list that looked like my English Lit. course at Queens College. The entire visit changed our minds, Carol and mine about residential boarding schools. On the way home from the tour, the supes were in awe of what they saw and one asked if we thought that his daughter could make it in one of those schools.
In our other visits to the schools, we were equally impressed. Mercersburg looked like a small university ( Gerry had given 70 million dollars to the place). Perkiomen had the ability to take some kids with learning problems and straighten them out. Westtown, near Philly, is a Quaker school with over 600 acres and a history of having both genders there since the 1790’s. Wyoming Seminary is the place where we began and have a fondness for it, to this day. They have all been unbelievable homes for our rural kids.
There have been about 100 rural kids from Franklin and Adams County who have gone through the Lenfest prep school program and 1132 students going through the McKelvey College Scholarship program. More about the programs and how they worked later.

A MIRACLE IN MAY-PART I

Carol and I have gone back and forth about predestination, God’s influence on our day to day activities and the role of coincidence in our lives. Whether any of the above, we stand still when we think of what happened to us in May of the year 2000. Carol and I were doing as much as we could in a number of different acitivies, mostly trying to get rural kids to go to college. Carol had expanded her Bright Futures programs to a few schools and I was doing a number of arbitrations and fact findings. We were also doing long range plans, working with rural school boards and I was lobbying for PARSS. I had also been working for Leader Business Systems, selling optical scanning programs and generally trying to get some business for them.
In that week ( the second week I think) of May, 2000, we got two phonecalls. One was from Andy McKelvey, CEO and owner of Monster.com and Bruce Melgary representing Gerry Lenfest, who had just sold his Suburban Cable Company to Comcast for $7.5 billion dollars. Each of them wanted to start a foundation to help rural kids go to college. They had gotten our names from two Harrisburg people, who had referred them to us as folks who would know about rural education. Thus began a 10 year odyssey that enabled us to fulfill our dream of sending needy rural kids to college.
Let’s begin with Andy McKelvey. If you have ever heard of Monster.com, the job finding website, it was purchased by Andy as an investment for about 3 million dollars. His experience in the yellow page advertising business ( he was the person who added pizza and a standardized set of ads in all yellow pages) was a natural for the expansion of Monster. He was imaginative, creative and one of the most innovative people Carol and I had ever met. Our meetings with him over the years showed him to be someone who was open to any kind of suggestion and able to throw so many ideas up against a wall, that it was inevitable that one or two stuck. We were told by the person who started us on this trek. Roxanne Previte, that we should “embrace ambiguity” in dealing with Andy. She was so correct.
We also owe a great deal to Andy’s wife Dena ( now Deena) McKelvey. She was Andy’s sixth wife. Dena was most certainly a trophy wife. She was tall, blonde, leggy, and beautiful. She had grown up in California. Her dad was a policeman in Redwood, CA. She had been married twice before, one to a businessman in Cleveland and one to a major league baseball player. However, beyond all this, she was one of the most kind hearted people we had ever met. The stories that can be told of her generosity are astounding.
Dena called us after we had been somewhat employed by the newly created McKelvey Foundation and asked us to take her to a rural school district. We were living in Harrisburg and knew that the closest district that would affect her was about an hour away from here. Dena flew from N.Y.C., where the McKelvey’s lived and landed in Harrsiburg. We got on the PA Tpke. And drove to the Fannett-Metal School District in Franklin County. Fannett- Metal is truly rural- 30 miles long and 4 miles wide ( the Path Valley), with some areas lacking in sewage, water and electricity. It most certainly was a poor district. We had called Dana Baker, the school superintendent and had him round up some community people, some teachers and some students to meet with us and answer some of Dena’s questions.
The meeting went well. Dena was astounded at the lack of resources of the school and the community. Although we did not see tears coming to her eyes, we knew that she was affected by what the people said to her. As we were leaving to have her take her plane back to New York, Dena asked if she could go to the ladies room. We all talked about the possibility of a scholarship and how it would look. When Dena came back, we bid our farewells and drove her back to the airport. We had some great conversations and Dena promised that we would work with her to establish the program and become full time consultants to the Foundation.
Later that night Dana Baker called and asked what this was. We did not know what he was talking about. Evidently, Dena had left and envelope on his desk with $500 checks made out to each of the people at the meeting. He asked us what to do with the checks. Carol and I quickly responded. How about giving them out in scholarships at the end of the year. Dana liked that idea and that was what was done. It was the beginning of our wonder magical tour over the next ten years.

WHEN WHITE MEN COULD JUMP

I am not sure when I first saw a basketball game, but, as I have said before, I have a picture of myself at age 4 holding a basketball. I have had a life long affair with basketball. It really goes back to the 1940’s. I have no idea when I first saw a basketball Not only have I participated in basketball, played with fervor and seriousness, but I have been a fan for many years. I coached on the junor high school level and in the Army. I believe that I must have seen a game in 1949 at Madison Square Garden between the Knicks and Waterloo Hawks. I remember Harry Boykoff sitting on the bench as I walked by. He had such long legs that he almost reached the court with his feet when he sat on the bench. Heshie was about 6-10 and was a player with the St. Johns College team in the 1940’s. He once scored 54 points in one game and he is the real reason for the goal tending rules change.
When I grew up, there was little distinction between anyone who could play basketball. In New York, you played with anyone and played against anyone who was on the court. Jews had a long history of playing basketball. The Original Celtics ( the first real professional team) was populated with Jews. The Cleveland Rosenblooms, the House of David and the Philadelphia Spahs ( later the Warriors) were professional baskeball teams with a preponderance of Jews on their teams. The 1929 St. Johns University “Wonder Five” had four Jews on the team.
It is not surprising that Jews were basketball freaks. Basketball is still a city game, although when suburbs expanded, they began to produce major basketball players. When Jews populated the inner cities, that was the game that they played. All one needed was a hoop, a backboard and some paved area and you were in business. Three man ball was the game that I knew best. I did not play full court until I was in high school. The three main arenas for me were Forest Hills High School, Riverside Park near Columbia University and Rockaway. In those three venues, I played ball against some of the best high school and college players on the East Coast and a few pros. I played against Al Mcguire, when he was still in college, his brother Dick ( with the Knicks at the time), Allen Seiden ( St. John’s and Jamaica High School), Red Blumenreich of Yeshiva University ( and what a leaper he was), Dave Raspler, Jack McKinney, Dolph Shayes and finally in a three man game at Riverside Park; Ray Felix ( then of the Baltimore Bullets) and Wilt Chamberlain, who had just graduated high school the same year that I did.
There was much integration of ages, physiques, colors, ethnic backgrounds and abilities in those games. When you went home from a stint in those places, you would be exhausted and thrilled at the same time. I think I still have the bruises that I got from guarding Al McGuire. My schoolmates, Jerry Silver, Stanley Needleman ( sinced passed away), Gary Baum and Fred Edelman, as well as Al Rosentrater and Don Sullivan all went on to play college ball. Stanley went to Columbia and was a star, Don and Al went to Oglethorpe and played ball, Fred went on to St. Johns ( somehow a haven for Jewish basketball players). I do not know what happened to Jerry and Gary.
The NBA was started by Guys like Maurice Podoloff, Eddie Gottlieb, Red Auerbach and others whose names have now been suceeded by people like Abe Polin and Larry Cuban. Abe Saperstein started the Harlem Globetrotters. By the time the late 50’s and 60’s rolled around, Jewish ballplayers began to be overshadowed by African American players whose roots were the same as Jews- inner city, courts in the neighborhoods and a desire to be the best at what they did. Yes, there was an era when white men could jump. When I was in the Army, I was not good enough to break into the lineup at my 97th Signal Corps Detachment of 60 men, but I was good enough to coach. As I have said, first Sergeant Wolf ordered me to do it and we won the 7th Army Special Troops Championship. There were two guys on the team that could dunk. Both of them were about 6-2 and both of them were kangaroos. They were also both white. That era is gone, but I remember it well. I left college to go into the Army because I majored in basketball. Who knew it was not a real major.

THE GENESIS OF BRIGHT FUTURES UNLIMITED

It was a damnably cold January day in 1986 when the teachers in the Clarion Limestone School District ( known affectionately as C-L- cattle and livestock) went on strike. Carol had been teaching ½ time at the elementary school for 3 years. She was the teacher of gifted, as she was back in Berks County. However, this time, she worked for the school district and not the I.U. I believe that the temperature was somewhere about 10 degrees below zero. The schools were way of the beaten path and had no relationship with any through streets or pedestrian walkways. In other words, there were no other human beings to see the teachers march with their picket signs.
Although Carol worked ½ time, she marched full time. Many of the teachers said that since things were going so poorly with negotiations and with their lot as teachers in the district, they would probably quit at the end of the year and not return to the district. Only one person out of the entire staff actually did it, Carol Hillman. Carol had been thinking about starting her own consulting firm for a long time. She had even gone to Pittsburgh to a seminar that talked about women starting their own businesses. The presenter was someone who really knew how to stimulate interest in starting a business. He told Carol that if her husband had a good job, she could do her work as a volunteer. You don’t ever want to say anything like that to Carol.
She was soon off looking for some money for one of her pet projects. She saw that the kids in her school district did not have any vision of what they could do. Many of the gifted kids saw themselves as truck drivers or cosmetologists, not as doctors, lawyers, astronauts, engineers, etc. That was so disappointing to her that she vowed to try and correct some of it. She contacted the Heinz Foundation and asked them if they were interested in a project that she had in mind. Heinz was pretty much a Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Foundation and had never given out a grant to any rural area ( as far as they knew). In the end, Carol was given a $25,000 stipend to begin a program for two school districts in Clarion County.
Her consulting and advocacy firm ( she does stuff for nothing) has been her passion for 24 years. She has worked with a myriad of rural school boards, law practices, dental practices, private companies, state organizations and in the year 2000, we got a call from two billionaires within a one week span. That is a story for another time. Her work with children over the past 45 years has no bounds. This week we had four kids from rural areas staying at our house so that we could take them to colleges for visits. Their parents were not able to do it because of costs and jobs. That is the essence of Bright Futures