By Meg McEwen, NeW intern
In October 2017, the New York Times and New Yorker aimed and fired at Harvey Weinstein, drawing from an arsenal of eighty sexual harassment reports. The firing squad did not stop there; hundreds of reports surfaced against other alleged predators, dragging unsavory details to light. The incident was dubbed by some as the “Weinstein Ripple Effect.” Bleak headlines cast an ominous light on the men of the hour and, while justice is well-served, the news is disheartening.
We at NeW hope that this spring’s Gentlemen Showcase is a reminder that honorable men still exist. Here are five heroic news stories that you may have missed. They just might restore your faith in mankind.
This doctor rescued eight preemies from a firestorm:
Dr. Scott Witt received a disturbing call from his hospital at 2:00 AM. The infamous Santa Rosa firestorm was closing in on the medical center, and residents needed assistance with immediate evacuation. Concerned about the helpless preemies (prematurely born babies), Witt split from his family to race towards NICU. He met back-to-back traffic on the interstate, so he swapped his truck for a speedier BMW motorcycle and raced between the lines of cars, skidding through gravel and riding on the shoulder when possible. Arriving at the hospital, Witt and his medical team loaded the eight preemies into ambulances that would drive straight to a safer hospital, six miles away. The entire process took three hours. Flames lapped at the road that separated the hospital from the fire, but the firestorm did not reach the hospital itself. Watch KTVU’s reporting on the incident here.
This stranger gave up the last generator to a shopper who needed to keep her father on oxygen:
As Hurricane Irma zeroed in on Florida, Pam Brekke rushed to her nearest Lowes to buy a lifesaving generator. Irma was expected to wipe out power in the area, and Brekke’s father relied on his electricity-powered oxygen pump to stay alive. She waited expectantly in line as the shipment of 200 generators was rolled out to eager customers. When she finally reached the front of the line, she was told that the final generator had gone to the customer in front of her. Brekke burst into tears, and another customer noticed. Ramon Santiago walked over and insisted that Brekke take his generator. He graciously placed his own needs above hers, and a reporter’s phone video of the incident soon went viral. Watch the heartwarming video here.
This plumber founded a scholarship for the children of convicts:
For many of the 2.7 million children of convicts, college is not an option. That disheartening fact did not stop plumber Karl Winsness from setting up a scholarship for Utah children with parents behind bars, known as the “Willy the Plumber” Scholarship. Winsness pays for scholarships out of pocket when donations fail to sufficiently cover them. According to the official scholarship site Winsness says, “We recognize that these children themselves haven’t done anything wrong – Basically they are also victims of their parents’ bad choices; the ‘Forgotten Victims of Crime.’ We want to break that cycle, with a way out of prison visiting rooms, with an incentive to do better and also some financial help towards them getting a higher educating.” Visit the website here and watch a video about Winsness’ story here.
This unidentified youth risked his life to save a woman from possible suicide:
Many people disappear in the fray of society in New York, the city of faces without names. This September, a woman climbed up to the beams above the subway in the Broadway and Lafayette station. There, she dangled from the edge, 20 feet from the ground. Despite NYC’s reputation, someone did see this woman. Pedestrian Michal Klein witnessed a young man crawl up through the rafters, put an arm around the woman’s shoulder, and speak quietly to her. Klein snapped shots of the two in the beams with his phone, but he did not find out the identity of the man or woman. He left when security personnel arrived on the scene. Read more about the story here.
This off-duty cop rescued a three-year old girl in a donut shop, the morning of his wedding:
On the day of his wedding, John O’Rourke left his uniform in his closet – but his heroism followed him into the streets. He entered Donuts-to-Go to grab a bite to eat before the big event, completely unprepared for the scene inside. A group of people stood over a three-year-old girl, who was in the middle of a seizure. Shocked, nobody moved. O’Rourke rushed over and began talking to emergency personnel on the phone. He administered immediate CPR and chest compressions, and the girl was breathing by the time paramedics arrived. O’Rourke was given a free box of donuts for his heroism. O’Rourke saved a life that morning – confirming him as a true gentleman. Read more quotes about the incident here.
Has your faith in mankind been restored yet? Do you have any heroic gentlemen in your life? Comment below.
The Gentlemen Showcase goes LIVE February 1, 2018. Prepare your nominations today.