The Fun Dome (#32): Generosity


Renee Passal, who works for WDIO, got wind of my trailrunning project in support of the Wounded Warrior Project. She offered to put me on television to talk about the charity. I was a little reluctant but Leo accepted immediately.

She came out with John, the photojournalist/cameraman, and Leo got ready for his close-up. We met up at Bagley where the Superior Hiking Trail exits down to Chester. We managed to find several mosquitoes while we chatted for the camera. Then Leo and I demonstrated our running technique. (I look elderly and apparently have T-Rex arms when I run.) After we were done, Leo and I ran off by ourselves to knock off the one mile section from Bagley to Chester. We tried do that link before but were blocked by road construction on Skyline.

I was struck by Renee’s willingness to help get the word out about my small-scale fundraising effort. You can see the video here. She did a really great job. She explained what I’m trying to do and why in a far more concise way than I did in my post a few weeks ago.

The day after the video aired, the amount of money raised for the WWP through my running had doubled. I’m now 300 dollars above  my fundraising goal. I hope you’ll consider donating, even though I’m above the goal.

This isn’t the first time Renee was nice to the Chandlers. One of the times I returned from Iraq, I came back to Duluth on a transport aircraft. All of our families were waiting on the ramp for us to come down the air stairs and reunite. I ran to my wife and kids and gave them a big hug. I was very happy.

Months later, we were at our cabin on Whiteface and decided to drive up to Gilbert to try out The Whistling Bird for supper. We got there and it was almost a two hour wait to get in it was so popular. We went to Plan B and drove over to Virginia and went into the Grandma’s. We were eating outside on the patio when I noticed the TV personality Renee Passal eating with some people. (I think it was her folks.) I whispered to my wife that someone from the teevee was sitting right next to us. And then Renee got up to walk over to us.

She asked if I was with the guard. I said I was. She said she had some video from our return from Iraq when I was hugging my kids. If I’d give her my address, she’d mail me the video tape. I was so focused on my family, I didn’t even know there were cameras there that night.

So, now we have a video of a rare family moment. She didn’t have to walk over and offer that video to us. She didn’t have to come out to Bagley and film my little project. People didn’t have to open their wallets to help Wounded Warriors.

Most of the time, I despair for humanity. But sometimes…

Oh. And if you ever say something mean about Renee Passal, I’ll find you.


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