Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant

Hillary, I never knew you knew they knew you had it in you. But after Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island, there is a more than a spark of a scintilla of a chance that the campaign will wage on between the two Democratic hopefuls. On the Republican side, John McCain cinched his party's nomination and I think his role over the course of the next several months is definitely more enviable. The pundits are all over this one and the possiblity that Florida and Michigan may decide to "redo" their primaries could loom large. Frankly, it is just what any political junkie could hope for: the soap opera goes on.
Last Sunday I met a young man who is really making a difference. Ethan Zorn, the winner of "Survivor: Africa" in 2002, has been quietly working to stop the spread of HIV in Africa through his Grassroots Soccer charity ( Zorn, the curly, raven-haired and unshaven hunk with the six-pack abs was a fitting speaker at a gathering designed to promote youthful philanthropy. Here is a role model if there ever was one. Zorn has received numerous awards for his charity, which trains soccer players to encourage safe sex practices among targeted youth in nine African countries as well as in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. As Zorn explains, the numbers of lives lost to AIDS in Africa boggles the mind because it is so rampant and is clearly a heterosexual disease. Zorn started the charity with the proceeds from his "Survivor" $1 million winnings. Talk about paying it forward. This still young fellow, who lost his father at 14, is grateful for everything he has amassed in life. "What do you do when you win a million bucks?" he asked the youthful crowd. "It's not as easy as you might think." He may have entered the contest on a whim, but he is clearly a quiet and reserved man with drive and determination, points he probably picked up on the soccer field. "I want to be the type of person who can use his celebrity to make a difference," he explained. From your mouth to the ears of the future leaders and philanthropists. Bravo and mazel tov, Ethan.

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