Kodak files for bankruptcy. What will happen to the company? What will happen to its employees? Will they turn the lights off on the Kodak Tower? All questions we started 2012 with. It was on everybody's mind. The photo giant was once the face of our great city. It is what Rochester stood for. As Rochestarians we felt crushed; pride was low.
In June this all changed, it started as a normal day for one Greece school bus monitor. But by the end of the day she became a household name. Something that I am sure she didn’t want to happen. I am of course talking about Karen Klein, the woman who sat on that bus while a group of kids called her every name in the book and then posted it on the internet. I went to many events she was at and saw both kids and adults come up to her to thank her. I will never forget a teenage girl that came up to her crying, “Thank you so much for what you did”. I talked with the girl after she met with Klein. She told me this will “shed light on the bullying.” I also spoke with a father who brought his teenage son to meet Klein. He said he would use this to talk to his kids about bullying. This was a situation that started off badly and turned into a learning moment for the whole country.
In mid-summer the Olympics were in full swing and the Rochester seemed to be mentioned every night on the broadcast. Naples, Chili, Canandaigua and Pittsford now were the home of Olympic medalists. Pride was everywhere; Rochester viewers were glued to their TV’s.
Then around one o'clock last Wednesday a very tragic situation showed what Rochester is really all about. A father lost control of a stroller carrying his children. It rolled into the canal. Without thinking a group of medical students from a local university jumped in to help. Without regard for their own lives they were able to rescue the children.
These events don't change what is happening at Kodak, but they go a long way to help restore pride in Rochester. It shows us we are going to be ok!