The main reason for Neighbor of the Week is to celebrate the goodness in our world – the Good Samaritans who come along and make a difference in another’s life – whether it be by the little things they do or the big ones.  This week’s Neighbor of the Week is considered a hero by the one who nominated him.  This week’s Neighbor is Bill Ward.

Neighbor of the Week submission:

I want to nominate Bill Ward as Neighbor of the Week.  A totally small and insignificant gesture for someone so deserving.

Ten years ago Bill Ward saved my son’s life.  My son was four years old at the time.  His brother, sisters and I were at Stroud Lake one day when one of my twin daughters, who were 10 at the time, stepped into a hole where the water was over their heads.  Though they were pretty good swimmers, one of the girls began to panic and was pulling the other one, who was trying to help her, under the water.  As I ran in to help them, my 4-year-old son Nathan, unbeknownst to me, followed me into the water.  When I turned around, a girl under each arm, my son was nowhere in sight.  From where I was, not only was I not able to see him anywhere, I would not have been able to get to him in time if I’d known where he was.  We were the only ones on the beach.  However, on the dock, which was a good distance away, Bill Ward and his wife LaVonna and their granddaughter were fishing and saw what happened.  Bill came running down the beach, dove in, and brought my son Nathan up out of the water.  My son was to the point of not breathing but started coughing when Bill shook him.  I was so upset after it happened that I loaded up the kids in the van and headed for the house.  Mr. Ward stopped me as I was driving out and asked if I was OK.  I said yes, but that I just wanted to go home.  I was still shaking and so upset when he stopped me, I didn’t get his name.  I was feeling like a terrible parent, I knew I should have been watching my children closer.  I also knew that I could have possibly lost all three of my children that day.

I attempted several times over the years to find out who he was.  I knew little if anything about him and I had assumed he was from Stroud.  I was never able to find out anything.  Seven years later, I was telling my story to Kent Clovis hoping that he, being familiar with the Stroud area, might have heard someone recount the episode.  He told me he was prettty sure he knew who this man might be and that he lived right here in Cushing on Schlegel Road.  He told me his name and I immediately looked up his number and called.  Within the first two sentences of explaining my call, he said, “Yes, I am that man.”

I arranged a meeting that evening.  I took my son Nathan – who was now 11 – with me to meet Mr. Ward.  As he greeted me outside his home on the steps, he said, “Now this is a great birthday present.”  That day was Bill Ward’s birthday.

Many times over the years I have thought, “Because of you, Mr. Ward, my son has celebrated many birthdays.  He is alive.”

I believe Mr. Bill Ward deserves to be Neighbor of the Week – or maybe “Saint of the Year”- which might be more appropriate.  To me he is a true hero.

Angela Britton

Congratulations to Bill Ward this week’s Neighbor of the Week!

If you have a story about a Good Samaritan in your life or about someone who has made a difference  – big or small – please submit your entry to KUSH via email:  [email protected] or to Molly Payne: [email protected]  or Donna Judd: [email protected].    Or you can pick up entry forms at Cushing Chamber of Commerce, Natural Choice Chiropractic, the Cushing Senior Citizen Center or Jolley Realty located at 123 W. Broadway.

Weekly deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m.   The honoree will be announced each Friday on the Donna and Molly Show at 1600 KUSH AM radio from 7 – 10 a.m. weekdays.  For more information call us at 918-225-0922.