My most gratifying work

By Emanuel Johnson | 8/29/11 1:36am

I’ve had to write a lot of stories during my tenure here at the Lanthorn (some really good and some not so good), but the piece I recently did on Norman Shuford and his Carries for the Cures fundraiser was by far my most gratifying experience as a reporter, and how we found out about it felt like divine intervention.

About a week ago, I was sitting in the office craving an Arnold Palmer, so I went upstairs to the Lobby Shop to see what they had. Of course, they didn’t have it, and of course, what they had was $2 instead of $1.

While I was standing in line, Natalie Cleary, the president of the Student Senate, came over and told me that someone wanted to meet me at one of the tables in the Kirkhof lobby. After I paid for my drink and walked over, I joined Cleary, Shuford and Norman Christopher, director of the Sustainable Community Development Initiative. After introductions, Shuford laid out the plan, complete with physical itinerary.

I was in journalist Heaven. This amazing story about this amazing plan just fell into my lap, and I had three credible sources and a physical outline before I even had a chance to think.

But as I dug deeper, I found Shuford to be caring, compassionate and selfless like no other athlete I had ever met before. He truly believes that God has a higher purpose for him than just playing football, and because of this he has buried his heart and soul into getting this fundraiser off of the ground in less than a month. And to sit and talk with him – help him come up with ideas and develop specifics, discuss his motivation and hear stories about how the whole football team rallied behind it – was a gratifying experience in itself.

Norman Shuford had an idea that could help countless people and, by taking the steps necessary to make that dream a reality, demonstrated the type of selfless character that most (including myself) could only admire from afar.

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