Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

Grace Groner, orphaned at 12, was taken in by family friends until she was adopted. Her adopted parents made an investment of paying her way through Lake Forest College, not knowing this investment would lead to a greater one many years later when Grace would repay her educators in a most extraordinary way.

 


 She took on a job as a secretary upon graduation.  She never married, or drove a car, and she lived her whole life in a small cottage. Unbeknownst to anyone, she used her savings to buy three $60 stock shares in 1935.

 


Grace.jpgHer shares accumulated value to the tune of $7 million dollars. After her passing in January 2010, at 100 years old, that money was donated to her college as a foundation to allow students to study abroad. Her cottage is now called Grace’s Cottage that takes in scholarship students.

 

Lake Forest left a huge imprint on Grace’s heart, enough for her to give them back all she had in return.

 

See the video about Grace and her generosity.

 

– Renita Williams

 

By Rev. Victor Fuhrman

Many of us aspire to live to a ripe old age and look forward to the “Golden Years” of retirement.  After living for a full century and delivering more than 15,000 babies, Dr. W.G. “Curly” Watson won’t stop! Celebrating his 100th birthday on February 25th, the Augusta, Georgia OB-GYN physician is the oldest practicing MD in the United States.

Watson received his bachelor’s degree in 1932 but could not afford medical school.  He worked on a farm for the next seven years at a wage of about fifty cents a day and finally saved up enough to enroll in the Medical College of Georgia in 1939. He became a resident there in 1947 and has been practicing ever since.

He doesn’t deliver babies anymore but still sees patients daily at the women’s center named in his honor.  Having welcomed into the world more people than populate many U.S. towns, Watson mused, “I don’t go anywhere that I don’t see a patient of mine!”

Happy Birthday Dr. Watson! 

See this inspiring video!

Just short of 14 months since piloting one of the most extraordinary landings in aviation history, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenburger hung up his wings yesterday and retired from US Airways.

Capt. Sullenburger, 59, joined US Airways in 1980 and became a member of  the airline’s flight operations safety management team last September.

Sully.jpgCaptain Sullenberger, the pilot in command during the world-renowned “ditching” of US Airways Flight 1549, officially retired at a private ceremony at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. He flew his last flight with First Officer Jeff Skiles, his copilot during the skillful landing in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009.

Sully was among the three finalists of Beliefnet’s Most Inspiring Person of 2009.  The event that made him an international hero, widely known as “Miracle on the Hudson,” continues to awe and inspire people, and Sully is now one of the countrie’s most sought after speakers.

Asked why he believes the “Miracle on the Hudson” and his work that day has touched people so, he said, “It gave people hope.”

Read more about Captain Sully and the Flight 1549 “Miracle on the Hudson” on Beliefnet.

Captain Sully, Finalist, Most Inspiring Person of 2009.

21 Lessons from the Miracle on the Hudson

 

The Plane Crash that Gave Us Hope

 

Thanks to Renita Williams for research on this story.

By Rev. Victor Fuhrman

When I was a kid, I always looked up to sports heroes, especially baseball stars, as a source of inspiration.  In the days before the “baseball business” became the “business of baseball”, many of us daydreamed of being major leaguers.  In recent years with the sport tainted by performance enhancing substance scandals and the overall emphasis on mega-dollar salaries, there has been little to inspire young baseball purists.

yoshida.jpgThat changed yesterday with the story of Eri Yoshida and her hero and inspiration, Red Sox knuckle ball pitcher, Tim Wakefield.  Yoshida, a petite 18 year old from Japan and the first woman signed by a professional Japanese team, says she taught herself to throw the knuckle ball as a youngster by watching videos of Wakefield. She had the opportunity to meet her long distance mentor yesterday in Fort Meyers, Florida, while on a trip promoting the independent Arizona Winter League.  Wakefield, 43, began his major league career the year Yoshida was born.  He gave her some in person advice as she threw a few side-arm knucklers for him yesterday. ” It’s pretty cool that I’m able to give back to somebody that wants to carry on the tradition of throwing a knuckleball,” said Wakefield. 

Yoshida told him that her dream was to become a pitcher “just like him.”

So to the list of names of great knuckleballers of the past like Niekro, Wilhelm and Haines, will soon be added Wakefield and perhaps in a couple of decades, Yoshida.