Local News

Students Help Durham Custodian Achieve Lifelong Dream

Posted July 13, 2007

— A Durham school custodian is on the trip of a lifetime, thanks in part to some generous students.

Joe Venable, 71, said he had always wanted to visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Students and faculty at Mangum Elementary School, along with local churches and clubs, raised money to make his dream come true.

"The fifth-graders go together and they raised the money, and it was great. I couldn't believe it," he said. "For fifth-graders to do that, to think of somebody else other than themselves, it was great."

Venable and his wife, Alease, are spending three days in the Bay Area.


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  • lawdogzwife Jul 13, 2007

    It is nice to see a real human interest story for a change. Not just child molesters, rapist, murders, and any other crime story.

  • TinyToni Tenderoni Jul 13, 2007

    Kudos to those thoughtful kids and Mr Venable for his many years of service in our schools. This is truly a story worth telling. Makes me proud to be a Carolinian.

  • jetset Jul 13, 2007

    This is a touching story. I hope he and his wife enjoy their trip. I hope the generosity of these 5th grade students will follow them the rest of their lives. Also, I don't want to leave out the churches, clubs and all the rest who helped. God has blessed them to be a blessing to others. How wonderful!!!!! Thank you Lord!!

  • cbhopper122859 Jul 13, 2007

    thanks to the kids for thinking about others.

  • Halyard Jul 13, 2007

    This warms the heart, good story WRAL.

  • momtb Jul 13, 2007

    I am so glad that a story like this is not left hidden amongst all the lesser important subjects. What a great story!!! Thank you WRAL for putting it in a prime spot!!!

  • strolling bones Jul 13, 2007

    Remind me again why the kids of today are so bad?

    Great story.

  • NCTeacher Jul 13, 2007

    Awww. That is a great group of 5th graders.

  • wizard633 Jul 13, 2007

    Well deserved trip for Mr. Venable. I hope he enjoy's himself!

  • DLG Jul 13, 2007

    Now this is inspirational!!! I hope that the Venables are having a blast!! God Bless the 5th Grade Class for their inspiration and help to make a dream happen!