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Cleveland ROCKS!

February 17, 2010

We met a man who plays an accordion and a man who plays a bagpipe this morning.  Every year Jim Zmrasek plays songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on his accordion to make lots of kids happy at March for Babies in Cleveland.  Jim is the UAW Chairman of Engine Plant 2 and Joel who plays the bagpipe is the Site HR Manager at the Cleveland Site.  Jim and Joel were at the Ford Motor Company where we met the UAW and Ford leaders who are the Chairs for March for Babies in Cleveland this year.  They have a goal to raise $125,000 and they are so excited that the National March for Babies chairs are Alan Mullaly and Ron Gettelfinger, the Presidents of their Ford Motor Company and the UAW in Detroit, Michigan.  I think that will help them reach their goal.  The Mayor of Brookpark even came out this morning and I got to take a picture with him.  He’s a very nice man like everyone I’ve met so far here.

The gang from Ford Motors, UAW 1250, and the Mayor of Brookpark.

Our next stop was the airport.  But we weren’t flying home yet.  We went through security and then through the terminal to secret doors and elevators and ended up at a Pizza Party!  It was a Team Captain Kickoff and it was so much fun.  They are working on baskets to auction off on March 1.  They may even do a fundraiser like Dancing with the Stars and some of the ladies we met could be partners with some Cleveland Browns and Indians players.  I think that would be so cool and would raise a lot of money.

The Continental Gang!

Alex and Me with Robbie Anderson, Staff VP of the Cleveland Hub of Continental Airlines

Then Robbie Anderson took us to some cool places.  First we went up lots of winding stairs to the Control Tower.  It was very cool and we watched how all of the “ops” people use the computers to help all of the Continental airplanes taking off and landing safely.  Then we got to go on an empty airplane and pretend we were pilots and flight attendants and passengers in the airplane!  Michael showed us around the cockpit and then we met Steve who is the Head of all of the Pilots of Continental Airlines.  He told me I could make an announcement so I told all of the passengers to please fasten their seatbelts because we will be landing shortly.  Then Alex landed the plane and we said goodbye to Robbie and Lisa and all of our new friends at Continental.

Alex is checking out the planes that are landing.

All looks good here in the Flight Deck according to Captain Steve, the Head of all pilots, Captain Michael, Captain Alex and Captain Josh!

First Class passengers

Our third stop was to Sears where there was a Kmart District Managers Meeting.  We met Paul Geisler, Regional Director, and his great staff.  They heard about my challenge from the other day to Mr. Bruce and Mr. Don so they had vanilla ice cream with M&M’s waiting for me and Alex when we got there!  They are all up for the challenge to raise lots of money and everyone I talked to is pretty sure they’ll reach their goal this year of $10 million. 

The Ice Cream Challenge is on at Kmart!

Our buddies at Sears and Kmart

Stop #4 was to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.  We were given a grand tour of their new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (the NICU for short).  Wow.  They have Pods which are rooms for each baby in an isolette.  The families can sleep in their baby’s Pod if they want and live there.  My mommy said she would have done that when I was in the NICU if she could have.  This new NICU opened in May, 2009.  Before they made it they asked a lot of questions to families whose babies were in their NICU before.  That’s how they found out everything to do to make their NICU the best it can be.  And they did such an amazing job.  It’s beautiful!

We're standing in the new Pod concept in the NICU at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Our last place today was the Cleveland March for Babies Kickoff.  There were lots of people who came out and we saw a lot of the same people we saw throughout our day today.  Joe Jurevicius is a football player who used to play for the Browns and he has been helping to raise money because he lost his son when he was only two months old.  He has two girls now ages 3 and 5 and he is going to start volunteering at Rainbow Babies and Children in their NICU.  I think that’s so cool.  We also met the local ambassador family with Logan who is so cute and Karen who is the Family Team Head who has two very cute twins who were born preemie and dressed the same.  

Alison and Mom with Joe Jurevicius, former Cleveland Browns football player.

Us with Logan and his mom and dad, the local ambassador family

By the end of the night our world was rocking – we were pretty pooped but after meeting all of those amazing people we think that Cleveland really rocks!

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