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Making Plank's optimism contagious

OK, I have to confess that Kevin Plank is one of my heroes. The recent interview with him ("Plank is out to sell city on itself," Nov. 2) was so encouraging regarding Mr. Plank's vision for both Baltimore and Under Armour that I am for once proud of our city. More than pride, I actually (dare I say it?) feel hopeful. And hope has been in short supply for many of us these last few decades.

The question is, where should any of us put our focus, our energy? Yes, there is the undeniable bleak reputation we have gained thanks to drugs, violent crime, under-achieving schools, blighted neighborhoods, high school drop-out rates and all that shows like "The Wire" portray. And yet, as Mr. Plank clearly realized years ago, there is the other side — our physical attributes, our diverse neighborhoods, our colleges and universities and hospitals, our history, our culture and our untapped potential.

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Yes, Kevin Plank is my hero because he had an idea which became a vision and he ran with it with a dogged determination and passion that appear unlimited. And he hasn't just made money. He has given and given and given, supporting programs which span the gamut from cancer research to promoting social change in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The goal is transformation. We can work with what we have. Optimism is a choice. Kevin, I hope you're here to stay.

Myra MacCuaig, Towson

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