All posts by Ramona

Serving Up a New Year

For 30 years I’ve made resolutions to lose weight, exercise more and  spend more time in prayer.   I think its about time for something new. 

Instead of starting the year by focusing on the stuff I don’t like about me, its time to focus on others.  I’ve been a volunteer/community service junky since St. Peter’s Hospital gave me a candy striper uniform when I was in the 8th grade.  I got hooked on the warm-fuzzy feelings I got greeting hospital visitors and filling up patient water pitchers. 

Over the years, I’ve continued to do my part… joining a public service sorority at Penn State  (gotta love that Delta Sigma Theta), working in my church and volunteering for various charities…   There have been charity events large and small.  Fundraising phone calls and board meetings have filled my calendar.   Serving takes the focus off of the negative because making a difference just feels sooooooo positive.  

Sure I’ll still try to eat right, exercise a little more and spend more time communing with God, but my only true resolution this year is to find a way, every single day to leave a positive footprint.   My desired goal… a whole year of  warm-fuzzy feelings.

Defining a Leading Lady

There’s a new definition of a “Leading Lady.”  It’s about more than being the wife of a powerful man or the star of a blockbuster movie.

For the past several years, 107.9 the Link has brought new life to those words.  What started as a simple idea to recognize a few stellar women has turned into the best kind of campaign.  With the help of Leigh Brown from Remax Signature Properties and the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, we are able to tell the stories of 30 courageous and inspirational women.  Their dedication changes lives and motivates others to do the same.  Nominated by friends, family or co-workers they are exceptional leaders.

I wish you could have been at the Palmer Building tonight.  You’d have left feeling hopeful… feeling like you’d been a part of something very special.  We handed out awards and gave a $5,000 check to our leading lady of the year, Elizabeth Woods.  Elizabeth lost her husband in the war in Afghanistan.  Now she reaches out to other young widows with her organization Soul Widows.

All of the nominees were so deserving of recognition.  It’s been my honor to learn from them each week.  I also stand in awe of the co-workers who do ALL of the heavy lifting to make the program possible.  If you missed the event, here’s a peek at what happened on stage …
My mom Wheezy, in United Methodist Woman mode, delivering the invocation
Our VP Rick giving the shortest speech of all time

Sheri dazzling the crowd with a heartfelt, off-the-cuff address
Matt’s comedic awards announcements along with an amazing tribute
Sponsors like the Y’s Molly Thompson and Leigh Brown from Remax, sounding more like Leading Ladies
than advertisers
Delicious dinner from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Beautiful floral arrangements from Flowers of Charlotte
Glasses filled with Cambria Wine

and behind the scenes..

Frank, Bob, Angela, Piper and a host of part-timers working their bottom’s off to make sure the video, audio, set, check-in and clean-up went off without a hitch.
From Diane Pugh, the sales star who found our fabulous sponsors, to our promotions team lead by Matt D., Brad and Jennifer… there are people in every department who nurtured the campaign.

I was filled with gratitude as I watched the Leading Ladies program come to an end for 2010.  The interviews we aired each week, thoughtfully edited by Joe McLane, often brought me to tears and inspired me to strive for the extraordinary.  I look forward to doing it all over again next year.

The Best Freebies!

I found a new site that I luv.  Kiplinger.com.  Each year they list the top freebies.  I’m diggin’ this year’s line-up.

1 . FREE TECH SUPPORT

If you’re a member of Sam’s Club or Costco, you can get free tech support — even if you didn’t buy your computer from them.

Or, for PC problems, anyone can head to TechGuy.org or 5starsupport.com for free help. You can search the forums for your computer’s particular ailment or post a question to receive a timely response from the sites’ groups of geek volunteers. And don’t forget to try the manufacturer’s Web site. Many post user manuals and FAQs to help you solve your dilemma.

2 . FREE COMPUTER PROTECTION

Is your computer vulnerable? You can download malware-protection services available free online.

A PC Magazine Editor picks Panda Cloud Antivirus. Or try Microsoft’s Security Essentials, which PCWorld.com says renders subscription antivirus services unnecessary.  Time Warner offers computer protection as well.  It’s included when you get roadrunner.

3 . FREE PORTFOLIO CHECKUP

Is your portfolio as diversified as you think it is? You needn’t pay a financial planner to evaluate your holdings. Simply use Morningstar.com’s Instant X-Ray tool to check for balance among stock sectors, investment styles, geographic regions and more.

Then, check out Kiplinger.com’s 25 favorite funds, 22 model portfolios or Mutual Fund Finder to establish the mix of investments that’s right for you.

4 . FREE FOREIGN-LANGUAGE LESSONS

Voulez-vous parlez Francais?  Would you like to speak French… or learn another language? Put away your wallet, and hop on your computer.  At FSI-language-courses.org, you can access courses developed by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute in 41 languages.

At Openculture.com/freelanguagelessons, you’ll find a list of several free language lessons that you can download to your MP3 player. Or go to MangoLanguages.com to see whether your public library grants you free access to its courses in 22 foreign languages and 14 courses in English as a second language.

5. FREE GROCERIES

You’ve got to buy groceries anyway, so why not shopt at Lowes Foods… weekly specials offer you Fresh Rewards Cash… use the cash sometime in the future on anything in the store

for more freebies click here

Smarter than Me

My car and my computer.   No idea about what it takes to fix either when they act up.  Mechanics and IT pros are obviously much smarter than me.  So how do you know when you are getting ripped off when you need repair? Repairpal.com is a website that keeps mechanics honest.  All the site needs is your zip code and a few stats about your car… make, model andyear.  You get a price range for what it should cost fo fix dozens of different things that could go wrong.

Now if I can only find a way to understand my computer problems….