Saturday, May 8, 2004

Hey, Carl! Got any Reds tickets?

This one's on Lindner - and nearly a million more

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

Carl Lindner Jr. just can't help himself.

The Reds owner set out to give away a few Reds tickets to thank some people who helped him when he was ill.

But the list kept growing, and Lindner kept on giving.

Pretty soon, he'd given ticket vouchers to school children, teachers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, nurses, police officers, firefighters....

And by the time he's done, probably in the next week or so, more than 450,000 people across Greater Cincinnati will have received certificates that can be redeemed for two tickets each to a Reds game.

Each voucher comes with a message from Lindner of appreciation, encouragement or acknowledgement.

Those close to the philanthropist say the tickets are a gift from the heart, motivated by the care Lindner received as a patient at Christ Hospital five years ago.

"I was lying in the hospital and they were treating me so well,'' Lindner said Friday.

At first, only nurses and public-safety workers received the ticket vouchers.

But Lindner was having too much fun.

"I'm grateful for what has been given to me,'' he said. "I felt I got more by giving than when I was the receiver."

The tickets don't come from the Reds, or from any of Lindners' businesses. The Lindner family pays for all the tickets redeemed.

Reaction has been a mix of surprise and gratitude.

For many of the children, it is the only chance they will have to see a Reds game.

Newport Middle School Principal Chuck Faust told Lindner in a letter that budget constraints prevented the school from buying discounted tickets this year and treating the students to a game.

"This comes as a particularly nice surprise," Faust wrote.

Lindner says he cherishes most the letters he gets from the kids.

"(They're) my paycheck," he said. "The main one."

Like the letter he received from William Legg, a student at St. Henry School in Northern Kentucky.

"I will study more and go to a good school, thanks to you,'' Legg wrote.

"I enjoy school but I could study more than I do."

Some areas brace, others aren't bugged by cicadas
Downtown festivities won't be deterred
Owners of young trees rush to purchase mesh
Hey, Carl! Got any Reds tickets?
Tot Lot arrests now at four
One-hued wonder is 1 year old today

Two suffer minor injuries in boat crash on Ohio River
Clever set design turns stage 'Into the Woods'
Woman shot, boyfriend sought
Lot sizes to limit 'teardowns'
Finding awaited on CPS contract
Campaign censure tabled
Badge passes, father to son
Hamilton home burns
Two teens ill after tattoos
Exchange mercury thermometer
Deaths of former students unsettling at Lemon-Monroe
'Legacy of love' honored
Norwood likely to ask for tax increase
Ohio State trustees increase tuition 13.4%, citing state cuts
Toledo priest denies murdering nun in 1980
Counties get electronic vote OK
Agencies seek $23M tax hike
Bill would ban military-style weapons
Public Safety briefs
News briefs

Crowley: Clooney leads race so far - in fund-raising
Churches celebrate new homes
Singer releases inaugural album

Sr. Mary Berenice Byron served college library
Mary Cunnick, 84, teacher at Withrow

State worker didn't bother to process checks for $480K
Pence tells Fletcher foes to 'get on board'
Guide shows area at its best
Ludlow plea-bargain case over
Did you witness Norwood UFO?
Ky. News briefs