CLEVELAND, Ohio —
It was a little known chapter in Whitney Houston’s life because she wanted it that way, but we now know the pop star used her wealth to help thousands of children in Greater Cleveland.
While many music fans are remembering the role the singing superstar played in the sound track of their lives, Cleveland charity supporter John Hellman said he can’t help but think about the $5,000 donation the Whitney Houston Foundation made in 1995 to Michael’s House, a grieving center for children who had lost a parent or sibling.
Hellman told Fox 8, “All day, I’ve been listening to the radio and TV and thinking, ‘These people really don’t know the other side of Whitney Houston,’ that she was really giving and she gave some of her money to help children that were really in need.”
Hellman said he was struck by the fact that Houston sent along a personal note to the children who benefited from her donation.
“Just that she knew what they were going through and that this could help,” he said. “When we told the children where the money came from, they were really captured that someone like Whitney Houston cared about them.”
Meanwhile, at Cleveland radio station Z-107.9, air personality Edgar Betancourt, known as the Latin Assassin, and his listeners relived their favorite Whitney Houston moments on Sunday.
Moments that helped define a generation, like the song, “I will always love you” from the movie, “The Bodyguard”.
“That song, I mean if you hear it to this day, it still gives you the goose bumps because of the vocal range and the vocal talent the woman had,” said Betancourt.
And there were the moments like her rendition of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 1991, that made people cry, and made critics say she had the greatest voice in the world.
“It was so iconic, you know, she hit the Star Spangled Banner on point, I mean, to the point she had everybody in tears,” said Betancourt.
Houston’s supporters in Cleveland said it was unfortunate that her talents had been obscured by the ravages of time, and are now being appreciated only because she is gone.
“I think people need to look at Whitney Houston,” said John Hellman, “and say, ‘There was something more there that what people are saying today.’ “