Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Heroes & Hope 6.0

We live in trifling and uncertain times. I tend to highlight the more concerning topics fairly often. So in effort to be fair and balanced, it seems appropriate for me to present another series that highlights people, events, accomplishments, and the rays of light God gives us for encouragement sake.

This week I have two heroes to highlight and inspire you with.  The first is Howard Cooper the owner and CEO of The Howard Cooper Import Center which was an auto dealership that employs 89 people.  Howard, in his desire to retire sold the company to the Ohio based Germain Motor Company.  But before the transaction was completed and official, Howard had one last gesture of good will to offer his employees.  He decided that he would cut a check to each person for $1,000 for every year of service to the company.  If all 89 people had only worked one year, that would still amount to $89,000 but as you can imagine there were many employees that had worked for him quite a bit longer.  Bob Jenkins, for instance, was a 26 year veteran mechanic and his check was $26,000.  Cooper is quoted as saying, "I wanted to thank my employees and that was a way I could do it.  I hope it makes a difference in their lives like the have made in mine."


Our second hero is also quite the generous soul. Sixty four year old Peter Drakos has made himself quite the expert at winning carnival games.  Starting from age nine he amassed so many stuffed animals from his winnings that he was able to give one to every student in his Elementary School...which totalled around 200.  He then spent the next century perfecting his craft using geometry, physics, and engineering to figure out and conquer each game on the Midway.  Several parks that he frequents have actually made a rule limiting the number of prizes a person can win to prevent him from cleaning them out.  While this is all very impressive, what makes this guy generous?  Well he never stopped his childhood habit of giving his winnings away.  These days he donates each toy to fifty different charities benefiting children.  Over the years a conservative estimate of his donations totals around a quarter of a million stuffed animals and toys. That is a Hero by my standards!