honor the 26 victims who lost their lives on December 14, 2012. In a way, it's
unfortunate that it takes an unspeakable event like the one that occurred at the Sandy
Hook Elementary School to promote acts of kindness. It's really something that
should be been ingrained in all of us.. Acts of kindness really should be part of our
daily routine like brushing our teeth and washing our hair. It's that simple.
Here are some acts of kindness and great acts that were done by people in the sports
world in 2012
CHEERLEADERS SHAVE HEADS TO HONOR CHUCK PAGANO
To help raise money for cancer research and support Chuck Pagano, the head
coach of the Indianapolis Colts who was diagnosed with leukemia in September,
two cheerleaders of the team shaved their heads. Crystal B. and Megan M. (They
didn't want their last names revealed) sat down in a chair between the third and
fourth quarter of a game and had their long, flowing hair shaved off. Yep, just
like Demi Moore in, "G.I. Jane." The women raised $22,000 for cancer research
and showed Pagano that everybody is supporting him during his battle with the
TIM TEBOW MAKES HER DAY
A lot has been written about the play of Tim Tebow recently, but not much has
been said about his acts of kindness, which are part of his daily life. The Jets
quarterback often invites children afflicted by some terrible disease to football
games and meets with them and their entire family after to give them a smile and
words of inspiration. Last January, while he was with the Denver Broncos, Tebow
invited 16-year old Bailey Knaub, who has a rare disease that affects all her vital
organs, to attend the playoff game against the Steelers with her entire family. Through
last March, Knaub had endured 74 operations. 74. Think about that. Tebow certainly
has and is doing everything he can to support Knaub and make her life a little better.
JACK MCGRAW HITS PAYDIRT
Jack McGraw is a 13-year old boy with cerebral palsy. His life is spent in a wheelchair.
This past October, he was a member of the football team at the Haines Middle School
in Illinois. McGraw can't play, but showed up for every practice and every game to
cheer his friends on. In the final game of the season, with his team on the 7-yard line,
McGraw went onto the field with his motorized wheelchair. He was given the ball
and the opponents allowed him to score a touchdown. Players from both teams mobbed
McGraw in the end zone, making for a moment he'll never forget.
VICTOR CRUZ HONORS JACK PINTO
Jack Pinto loved Giants receiver Victor Cruz. He wore number 80 like his idol
and pretended to be him during football games in the backyard. Pinto was killed
during the Newtown shootings last Friday. After hearing he was Pinto's favorite
player, Cruz honored him by writing his name on his shoes during a game against
the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. But Cruz did more than that. On his off-day, he
went to Newtown, CT. to visit and pay respects to the entire Pinto family. Without
telling the media or posting pictures on Twitter, Cruz did a little something to
comfort a family that lost a child. Great move, Victor.
DEREK JETER MAKES A CALL
Derek Jeter has been a class act during his entire career with the New York Yankees,
but the captain made one call that elevated his stature with the people in Newtown.
Jeter took time out to call the mother of Victoria Soto, the 27-year old teacher who
was killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary. He offered his condolences to the entire
family and brightened an otherwise painful and gloomy day as they continue to
morn the death of Victoria. It was a small thing that touched their lives in a big way.
JIM JOYCE MAKES THE PERFECT CALL
Up until August 21, 2012, the career of Jim Joyce had been defined by the blown
call he made two years earlier. Joyce was at first base and incorrectly called a runner
safe, botching what would've been a perfect game for Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando
Galaragga. It haunted him. But in late August, Joyce made the best call of his life.
A longtime employee of the Arizona Diamondbacks had suffered a seizure under
the stadium before a game. Joyce calmly sprang into action. He gave the woman,
who had stopped breathing, CPR, and restarted her heart. She was saved from
dying. It was the greatest moment of Joyce's life and one that should be remembered
for rather than his blown call in Detroit.
Last July, I rode 100 miles in the Connecticut Challenge which benefitted
cancer survivors and research. Through the generous donations of several friends,
I raised more than $1,100. Thank you all for your act of kindness.
Laura McMaster Danforth