He led a crack platoon of skilled military men while serving in the US Army during the Vietnam War. She worked for a law firm as executive assistant. Finishing his stint in the US Army, Mr Michael Sobiecki worked for Chrysler Motors and rose to Regional Director of Executive Marketing and Sales.
After Mass last Sunday I asked him if he’d already retired. “Too young to retire,” he quipped with a big grin on his face.
Mrs Karen Sobiecki is the more thoughtful, demure one. She smiled brightly and told me, “Don’t believe everything he says,” she winked. “I think he should go back to work.”
I thought, “Hmmm… so Mr Mike is hanging out at home… by himself most of the time… hmm….” I called him up later in the week and asked if I could drop by to talk to him about something.
He said, “Yeah sure. Come on by and I will have a cold one ready for you.”
Mr Mike and I talked about SAS Alumni International’s mission of helping bright kids who come from poor families get a good high school education at SAS thru financial aid. I explained to him what “poor” meant, and what “bright” meant: A gross annual family income of $1167 USD or less and a GPA of 85% and above .
Mr Sobiecki looked absorbed and very interested; he said nothing and remained motionless. I thought I had bored him stiff with my presentation.
Breaking the silence he said, “Yes, I recall having to stay overnight in Olongapo City in the Philippines during the ‘Nam war. I slept in a hut but the folks were super-hospitable. Did you know they offered for me to sleep on the only cot bed in the house?”
“That’s Filipino hospitality for you,” I proudly beamed.
“I’ll never forget that gesture of kindness,” he continued. “In the morning they prepared for me some eggs, garlic rice, and marinated fish. That fish was sure bony! Hot dang, but it was good! How could they eat that kind of fish, bones and all.” The smile on his face registered pleasant memories.
“They don’t chew it,” I gave my smarty pants reply.
After a couple of cold ones, I stood up to leave. “Nice talking to you buddy,” he said shaking my hand. “Drop in anytime. Hey – see ya in Church Sunday!”
As I cleared the foyer and out the front door, I heard him following me close by. Halfway down the walkway I heard him say, “How much does it cost to sponsor a bright student? I think Karen and I just might sponsor a bright scholar!”
The rest is history. Mr and Mrs Michael Sobiecki are proud sponsors of SAS Ai scholars. They have never regretted their decision. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their generosity and support. We need more folks like the Sobiecki’s.