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Diane Illikainen is a teacher from Autrain-Onota school in Michigan's upper peninsula.  Diane reached out to our group of radio stations to help her get some promotion so she could have a chance to win $5000 for her school in an online voting competition created by Shopko.  I looked at the other teachers competing against her and Diane was from the least populated area, many would feel the odds would not be in her favor.  Then I remembered how there was another online competition not too long ago regarding Marquette Michigan and people voting to try to win money for improvements to Lakeview Arena...and they won.  Everyone came together like I've so often witnessed before in this area.  Diane received notification that she too had won, now how can that be?  Well, it's hard to explain if you are listening to this from another part of the country, or the world, and maybe you don't feel connected to those around you.  It is about community, people watching out for each other and helping each other.  That's one of the things that makes the U.P. of Michigan special, besides all of the natural surroundings.  I think it's also how we all are intended to live and maybe in some parts of the world we've lost sight of that.  And like my friend from Africa once told me, "It is all about community."


So when I heard Diane won I wanted to share her story and let others know there are plenty of good people and good stories out there, the world is not as it seems according to the news agencies.  There are many incredible people who lead ordinary lives and once in a while inspire others to become part of their journey.

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