Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rockin' the Red Kettle

As promised, Ms. Panny and I braved the windy, snowy, blistering cold weather this morning to ring bells and raise money for The Salvation Army. We decided to put our personalities into it by bringing a radio and rockin' out to Christmas tunes. Regardless of the freezing cold snow blowing on us, we were jiving and singing in the spirit of the holidays to help raise money for those in need. People were extremely generous, and we're thankful to everyone who stopped by and donated. Donations are down this year in the red kettles all around Michigan and the country. Volunteers will be collecting at the red kettles through Christmas Eve. So even if you can't afford to donate anything more than the spare change in your pocket, just remember that a little bit truly goes a long way!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Oral Cancer Starts to Have a Voice

This post strays a bit from the theme of creativity, love and happiness because it's about oral cancer, a little-known yet deadly cancer that strikes about 34,000 people a year and kills 7,500. Yet in my mind, any media coverage of oral cancer is happiness because that means more people will pay attention to it and more will take preventative measures to make sure it doesn't affect them.

A recent USA Today article gives a rundown of Brian Hill's oral cancer. Brian is the founder of the Oral Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing people together who've battled oral cancer and educating those who know nothing about it. Having USA Today give a voice to oral cancer is a huge step in the right direction. I've worked on behalf of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana for almost a year now to call attention to this silent killer and encourage the media to help people understand that oral cancer is just as prominent as breast, ovarian or prostate cancer. Slowly but surely we're starting to make some ground, but in theme of this blog, I was extremely happy to see a popular pub like USA Today call attention to oral cancer.

Check out the story for signs and symptoms of oral cancer and how dentists should check you for it. You can also check out Delta Dental's newsroom for some very informative news releases distributed during National Oral Cancer Awareness Week, April 16-22, 2007. After the holidays we'll be gearing up for 2008's NOCAW, and I have high hopes that more people will take notice of this cancer before the "those affected" number skyrockets.

The New York Times Calls Positive Attention to Detroit

For once -- Detroit has been recognized for it's amazing culture and travel destinations by a publication outside of Michigan. And, a highly-regarded publication that is none other than The New York Times. The Times travel section recently named the 53 places to visit in 2008, and to many people's (pleasant) surprise, D-town was included on the list.

Granted Detroit was number 40, but who cares -- it's positive publicity! And amidst an economy that's as fragile as cracked ice, budget woes that never seem to come to a resolution and once-abundant nonprofits that can't afford to help those who need help the most, I'd say this is one big home run for our state. It will make people do a double take who would never have imagined that the country's (supposedly) second dangerous city could be a hip and thriving tourist destination. AND....AND...we beat out cities like Las Vegas, New York and San Diego!

Recent openings of the Detroit Institute of Arts, MGM Grand and MotorCity Casino Hotel not only will (hopefully) bolster our fragile economy, but also give Detroit huge bragging rights and help us compete with some of the historically big league cities in our country. So thanks New York Times for shining a spotlight on the tourist attractions of Detroit!