Freddy Krueger Makes a Dream Come True via the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Robert Englund Helps Make A Wish
(Twitter/Make A Wish)

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been helping those with life-changing critical illnesses to experience incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for over 39 years.

Each patient, like their wish, a unique request the foundation strives to grant. From connecting patients with individuals like celebrities and athletes to funding trips to Disney, the organization has granted hundreds of thousands of wishes worldwide since 1980.

So when 18-year-old Henry shared his wish with the Illinois chapter of Make-A-Wish, the group mobilized to made it happen. A super-fan of horror flicks, Henry wanted nothing more than to meet the man behind iconic big-scream sensation, Freddy Krueger.

Nightmare on Elm Street alum, Actor Robert Englund, immediately answered the call. The man who wore the famous fedora for almost 20 years was happy to lend a hand… or claw. The two met back in August – the organization capturing photos and posting them to their social media.

Englund debuted as the deranged Springwood Slasher back in 1984, reprising the role another 5 times in what has become one of the quintessential horror franchises of all time. Although Englund hasn’t played the creepy character on film since 2003, he returned in full garb more recently for a special appearance on ABC’s hit sitcom, The Goldbergs.

Whether it’s a famous celeb or just a random stranger who gave the gift of life, Make-A-Wish encounters often touch so many more people than just those directly involved. They remind us all how precious life can be, and how a simple gift of someone’s time can often make a world of difference.

Dad’s Lucky Coin Helps Michigan Man Win TWO Multi-Million Dollar Prizes

Man Wins Using Dad's Lucky Coin
(Twitter/MILottery)

Everyone has a story about a lucky trinket. Maybe it was a penny you found that had your birth year on it (oh neat), maybe it’s a watch you inherited from your dad that wear as a reminder of him (sweet). Maybe it’s something inexpensive that was there when something lucky actually did happen (cool), and maybe it’s something that brought you millions of dollars (wait wtf?!).

That was the case for Mark Clark, a Michigan man who won $4 million in the lottery in 2017. He took the lump sum payment of 2.5 million, retired early, and spent his newfound freedom going fishing with his dad and with his son. That time with his dad proved to be extra special, as he passed away a year ago.

Clark continued to still play the lottery on occasion and used a lucky coin his dad had given him a decade ago to scratch off his most recent ticket. And believe it or not, his dad’s lucky coin paid out in a big way, as Clark won another $4 million prize.


At this point, having won the freaking lottery twice, Clark’s next money move should be selling that lucky coin. Sure, plenty of people carry some overvalued talisman, but very, very few of them have a proven track record like Clark’s. He should be shopping that coin to the highest bidder, much like a horse trainer sending his Derby-winning horse to stud.

Or, you never know, maybe Clark’s lucky coin will bring him a third winning lottery ticket someday.

Man Goes To Graduate School To Become World’s First Degree-Certified Ninja

Man Goes to School to Be Ninja
(Getty/Scott MacBride)

As little kids, many of us had dreams about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Often it involved being a policeman or a fireman, many kids wished to grow up to be a superhero or a secret agent, and, for some us, our dreams involved becoming the biggest bad-ass of all: a ninja.

Not many of us achieved that dream (please let me know if you have), but one man found a way to do just that, and he may have just pioneered a path for our kids.

Genichi Mitsuhashi is a 45-year-old Japanese man and the world’s only degree-certified ninja. According to CNN, Mitsuhashi “spent two years studying the history, traditions and fighting techniques of ninjas” at Japan’s Mie University. The course included basic martial arts and, somehow, lessons on how to stealthily climb mountains!

He started the program in 2018 after Mie University established the International Ninja Research Center in Iga, “is where Ninja used to live. The climate of this area created the very nature of ninja,” Mitsuhashi said.

Ninjas are not just skilled and stealthy fighters, Mitsuhashi said, they were also independent farmers. So he moved to the mountainous province of Iga to practice that skill as well.

“Living independently for your own survival and prosperity is important for modern Japan,” he told CNN. “The world for each of us is not global, but local. The era for globalism is over.”

His ninja studies professor, Yuji Yamada, is clearly proud of his “dedicated student,” saying, “He literally (devotes) his life to ninja.”

Far from wishing to become a ninja as a childhood lark, Mitsuhashi clearly took his studies seriously and now has a Master’s degree in Ninja Studies, officially credentialing his knowledge of history, tradition, and ninja fighting techniques.

Something tells me he won’t be the last person to capture that degree. Hopefully, it comes with nunchucks and throwing stars!

NFL Player Gives Young Fan His Gloves, and Accidentally Also His Wedding Ring

Linebacker Gives Away Ring
(Twitter/brgridiron)

You have to be an incredibly lucky fan to even attend an NFL game these days, but one young Colts fan got even more than he bargained for. As Colts linebacker Darius Leonard was running off the field, he took off his game-worn gloves and tossed them to the fan. The only problem, the fan later discovered Leonard’s wedding ring was in the gloves too.

The return of the NFL has been a resounding success so far, although many of the games have been played to empty stadiums and the only fans have been virtual. A handful of stadiums, though, have had a small number of fans (typically a couple thousand). And as Leonard was running back to the locker room, he realized he may have given the fan more than he wanted to.

Fortunately, the kid had no interest in keeping the ring. After a post on social media went viral, Leonard responded with some laugh emojis and said “I need that.”

“Once I put my gloves on, my ring is on,” Leonard said on SportsCenter. “Once I knew I took the gloves off and that’s the only thing that could have possibly happened, that’s when in my mind when I threw my glove, the ring went with it. Thought I might not see that ring again.”

The fan reached out to Leonard’s wife on social media to get the process started of returning the ring. Leonard was incredibly thankful to get it back, as any married guy knows the river of crap he’d face if he lost his wedding ring and couldn’t come up with it.

Leonard told ESPN it shows the kid was raised well.

“I always say that it’s a showcase of his parents. The honesty of saying they found it. Some people wouldn’t have said anything. They would have said it’s a souvenir. I thank them for blessing me to give my ring back, thanking them for being honest. It couldn’t have happened to a better family.”

The Colts linebacker said he’d be sending a jersey or another souvenir to the kid as a way of saying thanks for helping his ring get back to his hand. He also said he’ll continue to wear it when he plays, although I’m sure he’ll check twice the next time he tries to give away his gloves.

Woodworker Dad Builds 35 Desks for Local Students Doing Virtual Learning at Home

Dad builds 35 desks for kids in need
(Instagram/goodlyearth)

Transitioning from in-person learning to virtual learning is no easy feat. Aside from the distractions and the disappointment of not seeing their friends every day, many kids are left without the setup they need to learn from home successfully. Mitch Couch, a father of four, saw firsthand just how much of a struggle it was to find his kids a designated space to learn from home. Being the handy dad he is, Couch decided to build his kids their very own desks to use as their own mini work stations. It wasn’t long before Couch realized other parents were likely having the same issue, so he set out to help.

He explained on Instagram, “I know many of our little ones are still home doing distant learning. Our two kids were taking up space at the kitchen table making it a hassle when it came time for meals. So I made them their own little desks. The cool thing is they can store their items in it after they are done and it can be folded away later to take up less space.”

Couch made his fairly simple design available on his Etsy page for just $0.99, hoping that it would allow other parents to create a learning area for their own kids. After hearing about this crafty dad’s creations, a store in the area approached Couch with a request.

“A local grocery store, Grocery Outlet, reached out to me to see if I could build a few for kids in need,” Couch told The Dad. “They were so kind to buy all of the materials and I built them. It started at 25 desks but we ended up doing 35 because the need was so great.”

You read that right – immediately after learning that local kids were struggling with finding the space to work productively at home, Couch got to work, cranking out 35 desks in under a month. Couch spent 12 years as a house contractor and began woodworking three years ago. Though he is highly skilled with tools and the building process, this was a huge undertaking. He didn’t do it alone though, Project Desk turned into a family affair.

“My family was soooo helpful” Couch explained. “They actually came out and helped me build. They did most of the sanding and helping me load and unload the desks.”

His wife even surprised him with four desks she built while he was at work! Now that’s love. The project helped teach his kids the importance of giving back to their community, and the response this big-hearted family received for their efforts was nothing short of extraordinary.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I have to tell you about some amazing people in our community. The owners of the local Grocery Outlet saw my diy desk video and asked me if i could make some desks for them. They wanted to donate them to the local schools for the kids who are in need because of distant learning. I didn’t hesitate to help them out. They asked for 25 desks to start but the need was great so we upped it to 35!!! My wonderful wife helped me through the whole thing and even surprised me with four desks she made while I was at work. The owners wanted to keep it low key but I just have to let others know how much local business means to a community like ours. Thank you Karin and David for being wonderful people. #supportsmallbusiness #groceryoutlet

A post shared by Mitch Couch (@goodlyearth) on

“After I posted the desks online I woke up the next morning with hundreds of messages from people all over the world,” Couch recalled.

The desks were distributed through the people at Grocery Outlet who took the time to contact schools, finding kids who needed them. Even the anonymity of the donation didn’t stop grateful recipients from expressing their appreciation.

“Today I got a message from someone who got a few of the desks after they recognized them from online,” Couch said. “They were so grateful.”

While dealing with the struggles of helping his own kids adjust to virtual learning, Couch took the time to open his heart and his toolbox to help others who were struggling as well. He set out to make a difference, and man – he absolutely nailed it.

Dad Puts on Parking Lot Dance Show to Cheer up Son During Chemo Treatments

Dad Dance Chemo
(Facebook/Cook Children's)

Having a kid fall seriously ill is one of the most brutal experiences a parent can experience. You want to do anything you can to help your child get through the experience. Even if that means putting on full-fledged dance performances in a hospital parking lot.

Hospitals can be a scary place for kids, and that’s why any effort to make it suck less needs to be lifted up and applauded. Like the hospital that lets kids drive mini cars to their surgery or the dad who kept dancing until his son was out of the NICU.

A dad in Texas took a different approach, with the same attitude behind it, to brighten his son’s hospital visits. Chuck Yielding’s 14-year-old son Aiden has been receiving chemotherapy treatments for leukemia for much of the year. When Chuck and his wife found out only one of them could accompany Aiden for his treatments (thanks to COVID), it made sense for his mom to be there (she’s a healthcare worker).

But that didn’t mean his dad wasn’t going to show up. He’s been there for his son in a different way…dancing in the parking lot. While his son gets his weekly chemo treatments, he can take a break to look out his window to see his dad dancing in the parking lot below.

His dad doesn’t hold back, pulling out all the stops to put a smile on his son’s face.

I mean come on, it’s tough to watch that and not have a smile on your face. That is peak dad we all aspire to.

Aiden told a local news station he thinks its funny and it cheers him up. Chuck said he’s doing anything he can to brighten his day.

“Just anything to brighten his spirits up a little bit and let him know he is not alone. We are with him,” he said.

This might be one of the few times in dad history that a kid is actually happy to see his dad break out the embarrassing dance moves, a skill every dad is born with. And props to Chuck for bringing those skillz on the road, turning a parking lot into a weekly dance party.

Watch Engraving Ideas for That Someone Who Makes Time Stand Still

watch engraving ideas
(Getty/Chachawal Prapai)

Sometimes words elude you. A person can mean the entire world to you, but that may not always be an easy thing to communicate. For some people, decades can go by with the same partner and it never gets easier or less uncomfortable. If “words of affirmations” aren’t your “love language,” it could always be a struggle. This is especially true when you’re trying to share those feelings with the person you care about while they stand in front of you. It gets even worse when you’re confronted with a word limit, like when you engrave a watch, locket, or anything else customizable. How do you tell your moon and stars that they’re your everything in 10 words or less? Dude. It’s practically impossible.

Except it’s not. It might have felt like it 30-ish years ago when “the Google machine” didn’t exist and you were forced to be original. Now, though, it’s easier than ever to look up “what to engrave on a watch” and find plenty of ideas if you’re gearing up to give someone a special gift. You know this, though. That’s why you’re here.

With that in mind, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up the best — short — engraving ideas for watches and other special customizable gifts.

Quotes From Pop Culture

You are my person. – Grey’s Anatomy
I’d miss you even if we never met. – The Wedding Date
I love you. I know. – Star Wars
Always. – Harry Potter
You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die. – Shakespeare In Love
As you wish. – The Princess Bride
I love you and I like you. – Parks And Rec
You have bewitched me. – Pride And Prejudice
I’m yours. – Jason Mraz
You complete me – Jerry Maguire
You’re my best friend – Tim McGraw
You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how. – Gone With The Wind
Wait for it. – Hamilton
Swoon. I’ll Catch You. – The English Patient
Just As You Are. – Bridget Jones’ Diary
All of me loves all of you – John Legend
I could hold you for a million years – Bob Dylan
Ohana means family – Lilo And Stitch

Quotes For Anniversaries

Now and forever.
The best is yet to come.
“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.” – Haruki Murakami
I got you, babe.
I choose you.
Thank you for loving me.
My North Star.
Life is better with you.
“Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.” – H. L. Mencken

Quotes Referencing Time

Some of these are longer and may require bigger pieces or tinier font. But, for those of you stuck on finding an engraving that actually references time (we get it!), this might be the way to go if you can swing it.

Tempus Fugit (Time Flies)
Forever and always.
Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.
“Time is the wisest counselor of all.” – Pericles
“I’ve had the time of my life.” – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (Yes, the Dirty Dancing song.)
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Tolstoy
“Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.” – Jules Renard
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare
“I would rather spend one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” – Tolkien
“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be!” – Browning

Samuel L. Jackson Coming To Disney+ in Nick Fury Series

Samuel L Jackson to voice Alexa
(Getty/Jon Kopaloff / Stringer)

Even during a pandemic, Marvel keeps making news.

We just found out that the Black Widow movie and Eternals were delayed from theaters again, thanks to the pandemic. We also got a (weird, awesome) trailer for WandaVision and learned that it will be the first MCU show to hit Disney+, arriving sometime before the end of the year, landing before the Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. And they announced that Tatyana Maslany (Orphan Black) will be starring in the She-Hulk series, about which we know little else.

But perhaps the biggest news of all is the latest: Disney+ is bringing a Nick Fury show to the airwaves, and Samuel L. Jackson is coming with it.

The news of the Fury series comes out of Variety and so far we don’t know a thing about it. The last we saw of the eyepatched leader of (the now-defunct) SHIELD, he was lounging on a spaceship somewhere out there in Spider-Man Far From Home’s post-credits scene.

Will this show tackle his outer space adventures? Will they de-age him, Captain Marvel style, and watch as he builds SHIELD and assembles the Avengers? Will any of those Avengers make an appearance on the show?

We have no idea. Not that we need to. Samuel L. Jackson is probably the biggest star yet to hop from the MCU’s theater screens onto Disney+’s streaming platforms, and further solidifies the promise that these series will play into the MCU’s movies, once those finally get back in action.

Having shown up in 11 of the 23 MCU movies, Fury is a big part of the universe, and a major piece of connective tissue. It’s hard to imagine that whatever he’s up to on his show won’t somehow play into the movies, considering how integral he’s been to the forming of the team, and the importance of his relationship to Captain Marvel, who’s sure to play a big role in the next phase of the MCU.

We’ll see what happens, but it’s exciting that a movie star of Jackson’s stature is carrying his role over to Disney+.

I hope they allow swears.

Ryan Reynolds Releases Aviation Gin Home School Edition, for E-Learning Support

Ryan Reynolds Aviation Home School Gin
(Twitter/VancityReynolds)

So uh, how’s virtual learning going? You know what, don’t answer that. Father of three and big-hearted goofball Ryan Reynolds feels your pain, and he’s here to help. Aside from his passions for acting and philanthropizing (just go with it), Reynolds takes his gin very seriously.

After acquiring a stake in Aviation Gin in 2018, Reynolds has become the face and the smartass behind the popular gin company. Reynolds is one of the rare celebrities who uses both his money and influence for good, and unsurprisingly, he’s doing the same with Aviation Gin. He donated 30% of his gin proceeds for over a month to bartenders suffering income loss due to COVID, and now, he’s got a little something for the parents.

Reynolds announced that Aviation Gin would be releasing a new product to give parents a little – uh – boost, while helping guide their kids through virtual learning.

“Aviation Home School edition. Official sponsor of Parent-Gin conferences,” Reynolds’s posted on Twitter, along with the special-edition gin’s commercial.

The commercial opens with Reynolds seated at a desk, staring at the camera with the powerful intensity of a dad who was just asked “what’s for dinner?” right after he threw a steak on the grill.

“It’s back to school time, which this year, has a whole new meaning,” Reynolds begins. “That’s why today, I’m introducing Aviation American Gin-” he says, slamming a huge freaking bottle down on his mahogany desk, “-Home School edition. It’s just like the classic delicious Aviation Gin that you love, but with more ounces.” Nearly 60 ounces, which should last, you know – a little while.

“It can help with a variety of subjects,” Reynolds continues, “Fourth-grade geography, whatever the f*** new math is. And revisiting your own long-forgotten middle school traumas.”

The commercial concludes with the hauntingly-familiar sound of a school bell, as Reynolds voices what we’re all thinking – “Middle school is the f****** worst.”

Sitting down with your kids to help them through virtual learning can leave you feeling like Billy Madison but without the cool hat. School was tough enough the first time through, but at least this time we can legally drink. Just, you know, save it for after class.

Disneyland Unveils Artist’s Stunning Chadwick Boseman Mural

Chadwick Mural Disneyland
(Instagram/nikkolas_smith)

It’s only been a few weeks since Chadwick Boseman tragically, and unexpectedly, for the general public, succumbed to colon cancer and passed away after a four-year fight with the disease.

In the days and weeks since his passing, the tributes have hardly stopped. His friends and coworkers eulogized him with touching remembrances of his kindness, dignity, and work ethic, while fans praised him for being a role model to their children, especially to the young black children who’d finally had a superhero of their own to look up to.

Now, many of these children will have a chance to pay tribute again, should they visit Disneyland in the coming years.

The park just unveiled a stunning mural of the star in the Downtown Disney shopping district portion of the park. The mural depicts Boseman kneeling and making the Wakanda salute to a young child in a hospital gown and Black Panther mask.

“This one is special. My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney,” the mural’s designer, Nikkolas Smith wrote in the caption to his Instagram post of the mural. “It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the children’s hospital project and the Avengers Campus.”

The mural is titled “King Chad” and pays tribute to the star’s work with children, specifically his visits to young cancer patients on St. Jude’s campus, even while secretly suffering from the disease himself.

“To millions of kids, T’Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman,” Smith continued. “I’m so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick’s life and purpose in this way. I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist.”

Boseman has left a huge legacy in his short career, and his memory will live on via the films he appeared in and the many people he inspired and touched along the way. Now, at Disneyland, thousands will get reminded of that every day when they walk past Smith’s stunning mural that captures the kindness of the star that extended past his performance and into his daily life.