Some online voting recommendations

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 30, 2009

Despite the fact I work on a computer all day, spending much of my time answering e-mails and doing computer-generated reports, I’m not a big fan of surfing the Web.

It’s not that I don’t like to do it. Occasionally in the evenings I’ll go online and start looking things up. But if I don’t have a specific topic or site to look for, I spend more time thinking about where to go than I do surfing. And I find myself getting bored rather quickly.

When the Internet first became popular I remember friends who would stay up all night surfing the Web. Maybe that was because everyone was on dial-up and it took just about all night to go from one site to the other, but they loved it.

I never had the patience or the time to become that hooked. My bookmarks — besides a few business sites — are, of course,, my daughter’s school and The rest I have to look up the old fashion way, I Google them.

But not being a Web surfer doesn’t leave me totally outside the loop. I get e-mails constantly directing me to one site or another for a specific reason. I don’t bite on all of them, but occasionally I’ll click the “direct me to” button and check it out.

Three recently caught my attention, and now I’m going to direct you to those sites, too.

First, former LSU basketball star Tyrus Thomas is one of the nominees for this year’s Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Athlete, sponsored by All Stars Helping Kids, an organization founded by Ronnie Lott.

When I saw the name Tyrus Thomas in the e-mail, it quickly sent me to the site to find out more and, of course, to vote for the former Tiger.

Thomas, now with the Chicago Bulls, established the Tyrus Thomas Foundation in 2007 to help children in the Chicago and Baton Rouge areas. And in just two seasons in the NBA (this is his third), he already leads his team in community appearances and was given the team’s Charles S. Lubin Award for Community Service. He also received the CDW/Blackberry Community Player of the Year for his service to community.

You can find out more and vote for Thomas at

A second site I want to recommend you visit is This is the third year CNN has honored everyday people who are making a difference in their communities. The winner will be announced Thanksgiving night on CNN.

You may have seen some profiles of the nominees on CNN or Headline News. If not, they can be viewed online.

One of the Top 10 finalists is Derrick Tabb, a drummer and New Orleans native who spends his evenings trying to keep young people on the straight and narrow through his Roots of Music program, which provides free tutoring, instruments and music education to more than 100 students.

If you love New Orleans music, then you gotta love what this man is doing. So visit the site to find out more and cast your vote.

Lastly, Mike the Tiger needs your help, or so the many e-mails I receive say.

Go to and vote for Mike in the Mascot of the Year competition. You can only cast one vote per day.

Happy surfing!

Sandy Cunningham is publisher of L’Observateur. She can be reached at sandy.cunningham@