☀ Man Completes Run Across Africa

AND Teacher's Million-Dollar Gift

Inhale the present, exhale the past.

Now, let your breath guide you back to the present moment, where peace and mindfulness reside.

Thank you for reading today’s edition of Grateful Gazette 😌

Here’s what to know for Tuesday:

  • The first person to run the full length of Africa

  • Dolly Parton’s free book program expands in Virginia

  • 95-year-old educator leaves $1 million to Prince William County schools


Strap in as we dive into the incredible journey of Russ Cook, aka the Hardest Geezer, who just did the unthinkable - he ran the entire length of Africa!

So, picture this: a red-headed lad from Worthing, England, sets off on a mission that makes your daily jog look like a stroll to the fridge. Yep, that's our man, Russ Cook.

On a sunny day back in April 2023, Russ laced up his sneakers and kicked off his wild adventure from the southern tip of Africa.

Just when you thought Russ had seen it all, he and his crew faced down some serious drama – robbed at gunpoint!

But did that slow him down?

Nah, not one bit.

With a police escort in tow, he kept pounding the pavement like a champ.

Running the distance of over 385 marathons isn't all sunshine and rainbows.

Russ battled through illness, dodged machete-wielding troublemakers, and even powered through food poisoning like a true warrior.

A pesky back injury threatened to put the brakes on Russ's mission, but he wasn't about to let a little pain stop him. After a quick check-up, he was back on his feet, ready to tackle whatever Africa threw his way.

Visa issues?

Been there, done that.

Russ turned to the power of social media to work some serious magic and get those visas sorted. British MPs swooped in, and boom – problem solved!

Sandstorms? Snowstorms? You name it, Russ faced it.

Fast forward to today – Russ's dream of sipping a daiquiri on a Tunisian beach finally came true!

With tears in his eyes and a smile on his face, he crossed the finish line, surrounded by cheering fans and loved ones.

With determination and a whole lot of heart, anything is possible.

🦁 Endangered lion cubs born at London Zoo

📺 Women’s dream comes true: “Come on down” on ‘The Price is Right’

📙 Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library expands statewide: Free books for Virginia’s youngest readers

🌏 Scientists document rare encounter with marsupial mole

👨 Faster, affordable prostate scans show equal accuracy and benefit more men

🏃73-year-old Salem man conquers 50 states: Completes half-marathon in every state

Lillian Orlich, a teacher and counselor from Richmond, Virginia, is leaving a legacy of spreading kindness beyond her time on this earth.

She proved that age is just a number, dedicating 67 years to shaping young minds in Prince William County Public Schools.

Known affectionately as Ms. O, Lillian Orlich wasn't just any old teacher.

She was the kind of educator who left a lasting impression on not just one but multiple generations of students.

Even after her passing, Ms. Orlich's legacy lives on.

Her memorial service was held in the very auditorium that proudly bears her name.

And then came the bombshell: a jaw-dropping $1 million donation to SPARK, the school district's education foundation.

Ms. Orlich set up a $2,500 scholarship for a lucky graduating senior at Osbourn Park each year.

Although Ms. Orlich may no longer be with us, her impact will be felt for generations to come.

Looking for a historical adventure that'll have you on the edge of your seat?

Dive into the epic voyage of Captain James Cook, filled with bravery, danger, and a touch of controversy.

Sides' gripping narrative not only transports you to the high seas but also prompts important reflections on the impact of exploration and first contact.

- Thank you for reading Grateful Gazette. Remember to breathe deeply to bring your mind back to your body 💜

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