Human Interest Story - What a Difference a Letter can make | News
In this day and age, a personal letter from someone seems to be a rarity. Not so though with my friend and former neighbor, Sally Howard.
Sally has a hobby of collecting autographs from “Potentially Famous People” and has done it for years, knowing that one day one of these autographs will pay off, whether in notoriety or value. She has hundreds of them filed away in order.
Just recently, Sally told me a story about an unusual experience she had and how it turned out. This is her story:
Sally attended the Michigan State Diving Championship meet in March of this year being her grandson, Cameron, a sophomore, was diving for Grandville High School. She said, “While I was attending, I got the chance of a lifetime to experience the true meaning of what it takes to be outstanding in performance and character. Sally is referring to Will Brenner who is a senior at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, MI.
Everyone knew that Will would most likely win the State Title, being the great diver he is, so very driven and a great athlete. When it was his time to dive, Will got up on the diving board, took his position ready to dive but ended up falling off the board. Instead of ranting and showing his frustration, Will got back up, took his dive and did it with dignity but it cost him the State Title. He was named swimmer of the year at his school.
After the meet, Sally and her daughter Theresa were discussing this and Sally mentioned that this kid would most likely end up in the Olympics in the future. Theresa said, “Wow Mom, I can’t believe you didn’t get his autograph.” With that idea in mind, Sally found the address of the school in Ann Arbor, sat down and wrote a letter to the school principal stating her admiration for this young man she saw as a true standout with the whole package.
Within a short time, not only did Sally get a letter from Will but the autograph as well. He said he was initially upset with his performance but after reading Sally’s letter, he felt like a superstar. Not only did she get his letter but one from his parents and grandmother too. His grandmother asked, “You really wanted his autograph?” Sally learned also that the Coach read her letter at the Annual Sports Banquet.
Will is planning to attend the University of Iowa in the fall, well known for its’ opportunities in medicine, will be on their dive team and will pursue a career in medicine. Sally said, “Boy Oh Boy, I can pick them.” She feels like the lucky one for having had this opportunity to communicate with Will. “I feel good that I made a difference and those whom I interacted with, made a difference in my life.”
It is so easy for us to jump the gun and make our voice heard when we feel cheated or ignored but look what writing a letter to someone about something like this can do. Good Luck Will.