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Rolly: Utahns tell their stories of good deeds

Published November 11, 2012 6:12 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sonja Stern is two for two in positive experiences, thanks to patrons of the Salt Lake City International Airport.

I wrote in 2008 about Sonja and her husband, Josh, who are fanatic Green Bay Packers fans, flying to Seattle to watch their beloved Packers play the Seahawks. They left their disappointed 11-year-old daughter, Sienna, behind. Feeling bad, Josh wrote her a postcard, promising she would go on a future trip. But when he went to mail it in Seattle, it was lost. Twelve days later, Sienna got the postcard, mailed by a Circleville man who had found it in long-term parking in Salt Lake.

Fast forward to 2012 and once again the Sterns fly to Seattle to witness the infamous Green Bay loss on a bad call by the replacement refs. This time Sienna got to go, but the family had to withstand verbal abuse from the Seattle fans because they boldly displayed their "Cheesehead" attire.

Sonja had to fly back early for a medical test and was sickened to discover when she got back in Salt Lake that her backpack with her wallet was missing. She called the airport lost and found and joyfully learned the backpack had been turned in with her personal contents intact.

Supporting the troops • I wrote recently about Lisa Brummer's experience when she was at a Walmart in Sandy, purchasing shelf-stable food, snacks, magazines and personal-care products, and mentioned to the clerk the goods were for her nephew, a Marine serving his second deployment in Afghanistan.

Suddenly, a 30-something woman sporting a bright red University of Utah sweatshirt stepped in front of her and swiped her card to pay the $99 bill, insisting over Brummer's objections that she wanted to support our military.

That was in May. Recently, Brummer's nephew Adam called to say he had completed the deployment in Afghanistan, had a few days of leave and wanted to visit. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and with such short notice, the air fare was prohibitive.

So family friend Emerick Chow offered to use his frequent flier miles to fly Adam to Salt Lake City. Chow told the Brummers he wanted to do it to "honor my dad's service in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean conflict."

Helping the Scouts • Tanner Stevenson was approaching his 18th birthday this summer and was in panic mode to complete his Eagle Scout project before he became too old to receive the award. His project was to restore a Veterans Memorial at the cemetery in the small Summit County hamlet of Peoa. He had 38 brass plaques engraved with the veterans' names, but they were ruined when a strong wind made debris stick to the wet lacquer that had been applied for protection.

In desperation, he found Ellingson Industries, an engraving company in Draper, and was told to bring in the ruined plaques. They had them restored by the next day, just in time for the scheduled placements in the cemetery, then refused payment, saying it was their contribution to the Eagle project.

Touched by an angel • Local radio personality Hank Hathaway, who is receiving treatment at the Huntsman Cancer Center for leukemia, was in the elevator at the center with his wife, Shirley, recently with a young girl, whose bald head and weakened condition made it clear she, too, was being treated for cancer.

But the girl, whom Hathaway described as an angel, was not thinking about her own problems.

She noticed Shirley's shoe was untied and didn't want her to trip. So she asked if she could bend down and tie Shirley's shoe, which she did, and touched the hearts of both Shirley and Hank.

A gas-station angel • Tina Ball, a paraplegic, pulled into the Tesoro gas station at 2100 South and 500 East recently when she noticed a man filling a gas can. She asked if, when he was finished, he would put the pump in her gas tank so she wouldn't have to get out of the car and fuss with her wheelchair. She said she would pay him $20 if he would take her credit card into the station to pay for the gas. She asked him to stop at $20.

He agreed, put the pump in, then seemed to disappear. Ball became concerned when the price shot way past the $20. Eventually he returned when the tank was full, costing $48. He gave her back her card, refused to accept the $20, and told her he had paid for her gas himself.

prolly@sltrib.com