The Red Bulletin - Heroes Of The Year
Written by AJ Bartolotti
Red Bull's magazine, The Red Bulletin, hosted a party to celebrate their inaugural "Heroes of the Year" issue. The Weekly Good's host, Marysol Castro, sat down with a few of the heroes that represent extraordinary stories and triumphs in 2018: ultra-marathon runner Dave Mackey, B-boy and philanthropist Richard "Crazy Legs" Colón, entrepreneur Lisa Wang, race car driver Mario Bonfante Jr., and music manager and immigration activist Doris Muñoz.
Dave Mackey fell off a ridge while running in the mountains near his home in Boulder, Colorado. He was pinned under a boulder for four hours before passing hikers finally heard him crying out for help. After 13 operations, he made the decision to be amputated and had to learn to run again on a prosthetic blade. After months of recovery and training Dave decided to take on the Bandera 50K , and ended up finishing in just under 6 hours. Wow! That's quite an achievement on it's own, but Mackey did it with the added difficulty of having to learn how to run again. Dave reminds us what it means to be a hero in the midst of adversity.
Richard "Crazy Legs" Colón
Richard "Crazy Legs" Colon is a professional hip-hop dancer and successful global celebrity. Many want his autograph and younger dancers aspire to be just like him. So why was he so upset at the Red Bull Urban Matterz hip-hop festival? When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico four days prior the damage was immensely devastating. As a Puerto Rican himself, Richard did anything he could to help his people. He set out to help provide drinking water to as many people as he could. He did this by teaming up with Waves for Water, the non-profit organization that strives towards providing aid and clean water solutions to those in need. Waves for Water taught him how to operate a portable filtration system. Richard helped raise awareness of the crisis in Puerto Rico and spread the knowledge he gained from Waves for Water to his fan base. He even went as far as to provide citizens of Puerto Rico with batteries, food, and money, anything that could help them during such a devastating time.
Lisa Wang is a female entrepreneur who formed a global networking platform called"SheWorx" designed to help women with their start up companies and fund their visions! Lisa wanted to find a way for women to succeed without being held back by gender inequality in the workforce.
Since men make up 94% of the venture capital landscape, Lisa needed to think big, so she came up with the concept of SheWorx. Through SheWorx, entrepreneurs are able to make direct contact with investors and pitch their companies. Thanks to Lisa Wang's platform, many women who were once ignored can now rise up, secure funding, and accomplish their dreams.
Mario Bonfante Jr.
When Mario Bonfante Jr. launched off the top of a massive jump via BMX bike, he landed so hard on his head and was told he'd never be able to walk, stand, or even hold things in his hands again. One thing for sure, he certainly couldn't keep riding.
Or could he?
"The accident ended my motorcycle career, but I wasn't going to let it stop me from doing what I love."The one thing Mario loves the most, is speed. He has found a way to invent and design a mechanism that allows him to actually drive race cars on a real track! The device, which he designed in his bedroom, is essentially an all-in-one steering wheel, braking system, shifter and throttle. Now Mario is trying to bring his invention to the masses in order to help others like him.
Doris Munoz is a successful music manager and successful entrepreneur with a fierce stance of advocating immigrants. When she was just a child her mother gave her instructions on what to do in the event her family was gone one day due to deportation. After the Trump administrations stance on immigration, she decided to take a stance. Doris organized a benefit concert to raise money for her parent's immigration papers. After she had reached her goal of $6,000, she continued her efforts and raised more than $14,000 that help assist undocumented immigrants that are at risk of deportation.
Netta Jenkins, D.I. Executive Extraordinaire Featured with Marysol Castro on The Weekly Good (Episode 30)
This episode of the Weekly Good highlights an organization and an individual who demonstrate that with a little ingenuity and hard work, a negative situation can be completely flipped to a positive one.
First, the organization story. What is sadder than being stuck in the hospital on your birthday? The answer is not knowing about the Confetti Foundation! They throw birthday parties for hospitalized children and have done over 5,100 parties in 47 states. Hospital staff want to have parties for these kids but they just don't have the funding for it. That's where the Confetti Foundation steps in. Hospitals receive "party kits" for the child celebrating the birthday. The party kit is complete with a specific theme (there are dozens of themes for kids to choose from), decorations, snacks, gifts, and more. The hospital staff receives the party kit and performs the set up for the child and his or her family. Although the party is not a cure, it is a welcome distraction and a good reminder that every child deserves to be celebrated.
Watch the full story on OnlyGood TV: http://bit.ly/ConfettiFndV
Now the individual story. When Netta Jenkins was a teenager she came from school in tears one day after being the target of some racial slurs. Her Mom sat her down and gently but firmly told her, "I didn't bring you into this world to cry about things, I brought you into this world to create change." That was the "ah-ha" moment when Netta considered something she hadn't thought of before – "I have the power to create change?"
In her interview with Marysol, we follow Netta's journey from her childhood and adolescence growing up in Rhode Island and about the path she took that led her to her job at IAC Applications. She shares some poignant moments about what it was like for her growing up in the only African-American family in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood, how she combatted some of the bigotry and other adversities she faced at school… and how she ultimately overcame them.
Marysol also probes Netta about her job as the Director and Head of Diversity and Inclusion for IAC Applications. She discusses the rapport she has with her boss, Tim Allen (the CEO of IAC Applications) and how she facilitates delicate situations in the workplace and ultimately provides people with solutions to create a happier, healthier work environment.
Watch the first two episodes of Netta's story on OnlyGood TV:
-(E1) - Meet Netta Jenkins: http://bit.ly/NettaDIEp1V
-(E2) - Enabling A Collaborative Corporate Culture: http://bit.ly/NettaDIEp2V
Marine Kirstie Ennis grew up with military parents and always knew she would join the Marine Corps and it was no surprise when she did at 17. She became a Helicopter Door Gunner, "...the most bad to the bone job in the Marine Corps you can possibly have."
While she was serving in Afghanistan, a mission to transport fellow Marines and supplies became a life-changer. Kirstie's copter crashed and she suffered multiple injuries, including the loss of her leg.
During her recuperation, she turned to sports for motivation and found a way to help others. She took on the challenge of climbing the 7 Summits (the highest peak on seven continents), extremely challenging for anyone, much less an amputee, and raised money for the non-profit, The Waterboys, who bring clean drinking water to communities in need. When she successfully reached the summit of Denali, the highest peak in North America, she also raised funds and awareness for the Building Homes for Heroes program.
But Kirstie isn't close to being done. Most recently, she participated in the "Pin-Ups for Vets" calendar, where she faced her loss of self-esteem due to her injuries. "Its taboo to sexy, taboo to be attractive if you're in a wheelchair, or you're in a prosthetic, or you're disabled. I was fearful. I want to be the one where people can own their differences."
Follow her journey of recovery and learn how she has regained her confidence while being a role model for others who also face these difficult circumstances.
For more information on The Waterboys, visit them at: https://waterboys.org/
Learn more about Building Homes for Heroes at: https://www.buildinghomesforheroes.org/
More information on Pin-Ups for Vets can be found at: https://www.pinupsforvets.com/
Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Aydian Dowling always felt out of place. He grew up attending Catholic school and eventually asked his parents to transfer him to public school where he could dress and act more naturally. He came out as a lesbian soon after. "I felt in line with being a lesbian. It was A + B = C." he remembers "I was a girl who liked other girls and that made me a lesbian."
When he was 20, Aydian still felt different and disconnected, even with other lesbians. Soon afterward he realized that he identified as a Trans man after a girl he was dating asked him if he'd ever wanted to be a boy. He searched for answers using Google and found a clip from the Maury daytime talk show where a man held up a photo of himself as a little girl and talked about how he transitioned. "That little three-minute clip was life-changing," Dowling says."My issue my whole life was not about my sexuality, it was about my gender."
With his course set, Aydian faced a pragmatic hurdle, how to pay for the expensive surgery, which was not covered by insurance. Ever resourceful, Aydian invested the $250 he had in the creation of his clothing company, Point5cc, to fund the operation. "I'm not a magician" he says "but I was able to raise the $5,900 in about 6 months."
Aydian documented his own transition on YouTube as a way to voice his thoughts, fears, and successes; as well as offer a support mechanism for others looking to transition. His YouTube channel, A Lions Fears, quickly became popular and to date, has nearly 200 videos, reaches over 71k followers, and close to 7 million views. In 2011, Aydian was chosen as one of three LGBT persons to have their stories showcased on the Emmy Nominated It Gets Better Project on MTV. Aydian was also nominated to be on the cover of Men's Health magazine and had around 40,000 votes to win the mag's annual Ultimate Guy Search, 30,000 more than that of his closest rival, according to the contest leader board. He has also appeared twice on the Ellen show to share his ongoing story.
Aydian continues his mission to help others by answering hundreds of emails a month and documenting his ongoing transition. He also travels with his wife, Jenilee Dowling, discussing "The Transitioning Relationship" which goes over tips and techniques on how to keep relationships of all kinds blossoming during the hard times of transition. Now living in Oregon, their ongoing story will be chronicled in an original OnlyGood TV series, The Creation of Us.
For more information about Aydian's Clothing Company, visit them at: http://point5cc.com/
Read up on the latest from Jenilee by visiting her at: http://readingsbyjenilee.com/Welcome to OnlyGood.tv! (Formerly HooplaHa - Only Good News) - It's a Positivity Movement.
"I was so insecure about my body. I was a skinny, scrawny girl with a bald head and dark bags under my eyes."
At 15, this was the hole that Caly Bevier found herself in. The Chemo treatments for her ovarian cancer took away her energy, mobility, and appetite. But despite the fear from a diagnosis that gave her only a 67% chance of survival, her fighting spirit propelled her forward. She faced down the weeks of Chemo until her cancer was in remission and vowed to get her life back.
The road was long and uphill but get it back she did…and how. Soon after returning to High School in Grand Rapids, Ohio, a Facebook Post her Dad made of her singing "Fight Song" at a benefit for a fellow patient propelled her to a spot on the Ellen show. That in turn led to an audition for America's Got Talent and an amazing moment where Simon Cowell himself hit the Golden Buzzer to propel her forward.
With her love of music as a compass, Caly signed with Primary Wave, a music publishing and talent management company, and moved by herself to LA. She's now spending her days in the studio with some of the industry's top producers and writers crafting her first batch of original material. Her growing fan army, known as Team Caly are supporting her along the way. "I can't believe I'm making music, I never thought I would be able to do that. I'm definitely living a dream come true."
Caly is using her new found platform to make a difference for others who are battling this disease, most recently with the organization Stupidcancer, which specifically focuses on support for young adults. "No matter what happens with music, I will always fight for people who have cancer." Listen closely… she knows a thing or two about fighting back.
To learn more about this support organization, visit them at: http://stupidcancer.org/
Do you have something in your life you are so passionate about that you would be willing to dedicate time, money and room(s) in your living space to?
If your answer is a resounding Yes!, meet Laurence Sheinman, whose passion for Looney Tunes cartoons, and particularly Bugs Bunny, is so over the top it will have you asking, "What's up Doc?".
That rascally rabbit has always had a special pull on Laurence. "Bugs Bunny has the cool of Humphrey Bogart and a dash of Jerry Lewis vaudeville." It's that connection to a character that is at the heart of this premiere episode of the new OnlyGood TV Series, "Passions", which is all about people and their unique hobbies, skills, and obsessions.
Laurence doesn't consider himself a collector – that would put him in the company of those who poo-poo anything not in "mint-condition" – but just a guy who likes the adventure of the hunt and finding the fun things that remind him of those carefree Saturday mornings as a kid when watching the cartoon lineup was the best way to kick-off the weekend.
What started out as fun outings with his wife Jessica and infant son Adam years ago, has blossomed into a collection of over 1,000(?) items, big and small, ornamental and functional, valuable and just … unique. Jessica has adopted the curator role, and a life partner's perspective of the special things that draw and keep two people together. "Its harmless fun, and as long as he's not collecting wives, I don't really care."
Laurence dreams of one day writing a book about his special hobby if he could somehow avoid one inevitable life obstacle….downsizing.
Watch more great stories and exclusive uplifting and inspirational content on OnlyGood TV, now on YouTube: http://bit.ly/OGTVYouTubeHome
And remember… at OGTV, Its Only Good!
On this episode of the Weekly Good, host Marysol Castro speaks with the two stars of the popular and heart-tugging Music Video "You Rescued Me" produced by OnlyGood TV. These two are linked by their love of dogs and their special effort to support Rescue Dogs.
First up is Scott Whyatt, co-founder of TracysDogs, who talks about the range of emotions his wife and co-founder, Tracy, is faced with as she goes through the Brownsville Texas Animal Shelters, over-run with too many dogs, many injured and unhealthy... and without homes… and facing sure euthanization. The painful process is on display in the recently released episode of their exclusive series, A Dog's Journey Home, in which Tracy describes her emotional struggle during these shelter visits, knowing that those she does not take will be put down. Watch this powerful episode on OnlyGood TV's YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/DJHE9V
In the second spot, Marysol speaks with the country singer Kris Jones, a dog lover as well, who sings in the beautiful music video about one of the dogs Tracy just rescued. His single, "You Rescued Me", tells the heartwarming story of Grace, a Yellow Lab, left all alone in the Brownsville shelter, and how her life was saved by a timely visit from Tracy and her TracysDogs team. Click to watch the full music video: http://bit.ly/YouRescuedMeShare
Watch these two exclusive OnlyGood TV videos and all of the other uplifting and inspirational content now on YouTube: http://bit.ly/OGTVYouTubeHome
And remember… at OGTV, Its Only Good!
You are trapped inside a barren metal cage. Little if any light ever shines. The only sounds are the cries of others, locked away, like you. There is no escape. There is no hope.
And then, one day...a light does shine, a kind voice is heard, and caring hands reach out to you. You are freed from your cage, treated with kindness, and on your way to a new, loving home.
Those caring hands belong to Tracy Whyatt. Along with her husband Scott, they have committed themselves to visiting shelters, rescuing abandoned dogs, rehabilitating them, and hand delivering them to their new, forever families. That's how their non-profit, TracysDogs, was born.
In the new, heartwarming music video "You Rescued Me", Kris Jones sings about how when all seems lost for these seemingly forgotten dogs, a knight in shining armor arrives who transforms their despair into joy. Tracy can't save all of them, but for the lucky Lab in the video, it was Tracy's big heart that gave this beautiful dog a second chance.
There is also a sense of joy for Tracy in doing what she does. "When I pick that dog up from that kennel and put him in the back of that van, I know that that dog is headed for a better life, a happy life, a life they probably would not have if we didn't come down here and do this work."
Each year, millions of dogs across the country are left homeless and face euthanasia in overcrowded shelters. To learn more about the dedicated TracysDogs team that tirelessly works to save the lives of these dogs and find them proper homes across the country, visit them at: https://www.tracysdogs.com/