• Positive Proof Productions(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- A 7-year-old has led an effort that gave a group of girls, many in foster care, the ultimate princess experience at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.Jordan West hosted the special event known as "Princess for a Day," in which 14 girls joined her at the Magic Kingdom for a fun day filled with rides and meeting their favorite Disney princesses.Jordan raised nearly $10,000 through fundraising efforts, with the help of her mom, Olivia West."She's really excited to interact with the girls," West of Rochester, New York, told ABC News about her daughter. "She writes affirmations for these girls [that say], 'You are beautiful, you are loved.' That really touches me as a mom and I really hope that she continues thinking about others."West, a mom of three, said Jordan is familiar with giving back to others thanks to her two 12-year-old brothers, Jeremiah and Joshua. The two run their own organization, "Champions of Change," which gives back to those who are less fortunate through charitable outreaches.In July 2016, Jordan held her very first princess party at the now-closed Sweet and Sassy children's spa in Pittsford, New York. About 24 girls who were in foster care at the time attended the event. They were transported to the salon in a limo and received gifts from Jordan, including pink travel bags.West said that the White House caught wind of Jordan's princess party and invited her to Washington, D.C., to host another one months later. About 115 girls who lived in the area participated in the event.This year, Jordan and her mom received a suggestion to host a more over-the-top "Princess for a Day" experience at Walt Disney World.In addition to private donations, Jordan held garage sales, lemonade sales and a "Pennies for Princesses" event where she asked her friends and family to come to the local bank and donate their pennies for her cause. Jordan also sells a children's book she wrote titled, "Princess for a Day," on Amazon and on the Champions of Change website. All of the profits went towards funding for her Disney princess party, West said.On Aug. 4, 15 girls including Jordan arrived in Orlando for the princess party. Many of the children were in foster care.The girls were treated to a party and princess spa experience at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Cinderella's Castle. They received park passes, gift bags, princess gowns and had meet-and-greets with Disney princesses.“They had a lot of activities for them, a lot of surprises for them along the way so I think it went very well,” said Tan Mitchell, a Florida resident who brought her foster daughter to the event and chaperoned three girls. “For this organization to step in and do this was really amazing. It really did a lot to make these girls smile and make them feel like princesses for a day.”Taren Sykes Harris, spokeswoman for the Pinellas Council On Adoptable Children in partnership with Pinellas County Foster Care Association, said four children affiliated with her organization attended Jordan's princess party."I know all the children had a wonderful time at the event and it was overwhelming," Harris said. "It was an experience that they will remember for a lifetime. We were so grateful and honored to participate."West said that she and Jordan have received many thank you notes from the girls and their foster moms since the trip to Disney World."We wanted it to be the best day ever," West said. "Learning about foster care and [how] some of these kids have traumatic experiences and unpleasant memories, it's nice to be able to place some great memories in their memory box."Jordan hopes to host more princess parties for young girls in the future.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- James Rhee is not the person you’d expect to be the driving force behind the revival of America’s largest plus-size, retail chain for African-American women.The company was Ashley Stewart. It was founded in 1991 as one of the first and only fashion brands for plus-sized, African-American women. It was built around the idea of serving a community. Store managers were referred to as “Miss Ashley” by shoppers. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters would shop together for special occasion clothing. And in 2013, it was on the brink of declaring bankruptcy for the second time. That’s when Rhee -- an Asian-American man, the son of Korean immigrants, with no retail experience at all -- stepped up to take over as CEO. He left behind his career as a financial investor to run Ashley Stewart and give the brand one last shot to stay alive.“It was one of those things where ... I just felt what was going to happen to the business was wrong,” said Rhee. “The company hadn’t had a really fair shot in a long time.”He went on, “I think as an investor, you’re trained not to be emotional,” said Rhee. “But I think some of your best investments of money and your time are things driven by emotion. But you have to have the rational sense to make sense of that emotion.”For Rhee, that emotion was tethered to his own experience, growing up a first-generation American in New York. His father, a pediatrician, became involved in their community through his work. But Rhee’s mother remained home to take care of him and his two siblings. English remained a barrier.“I remember her asking for some anti-rust spray at a local hardware store,” Rhee shared. “And she was treated really poorly. And I remember going in there and saying – you know, I must’ve been 14 years old – and saying, 'Why would you speak to my mother like that? It’s not nice.’”He continued, “There were times growing up when I saw my mom enter into a place where she could speak Korean, and she was a different person. Like, she was just so comfortable. I could see it in her neckline, her shoulders – the stress was out.”Today, Ashley Stewart is thriving. Its digital business is booming, the customer base has grown, and the brand is leveraging its name to help promote new entrepreneurs from the same community it serves. But for Rhee, the last four years were not about serving one particular brand, nor one particular community.“I really believe people are the same,” he said. “At the end of the day – particularly after being a father – what [people] want is just to have something decent for their kids. And to be able to feed them, and send them to a good school, if they want to go to school, and to have grandkids. I really believe it’s that simple.”To hear about Rhee’s own story, check out the full conversation on this week’s episode of "Uncomfortable."Download and subscribe to the "Uncomfortable" podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and ABC News podcasts.Rhee was interviewed as part of a series called "Uncomfortable," hosted by Amna Nawaz, that offers in-depth honest conversations with influential figures about issues dividing America. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With students across the country heading back to school, the often dreaded list of back-to-school supplies can certainly weigh heavy on parents’ wallets.But Lisa Lee Freeman, the editor-in-chief of ShopSmart magazine, has great secrets to scoring the best deals on school supplies, clothes and tech gadgets.Where are the best deals?“Try dollar stores,” she told ABC News. “In addition to walk-in dollar stores, check online dollar stores like Hollar.com.”Freeman also suggested cherry-picking the best deals in fliers.“Use apps to scan the weekly ads and snap up the 50-cent deals on pens, pencils and crayons at stores like Walmart and Staples,” she said.How can parents buy now for the entire school year?“Shop the warehouse stores,” said Freeman. “Costco and Sam’s Club are your best bet for heavily discounted bulk purchases of things you need to replenish often, such as computer paper (less than a penny a sheet) and plastic sandwich bags (2 cents a bag). Shop with another parent to split the cost of membership and bulk purchases.”Clothes are always a big expense this time of year. How can parents save on them?“Load up on T-shirts starting at just $5,” she said. “Stores like Five Below and Target have tons of super-cheap and super-cute graphic T-shirts, which are hot this year. [There are also] tanks for girls at only $3 and sneakers from Five Below are just $5.”Freeman also said to “stock up on end-of-season bargains and hold off on fall wardrobes.”“Wait for Columbus Day sales to load up on fall shoes and apparel as well as sporting goods,” she explained. “The next few weeks are best for closeouts on summer clothing, which your kids will be wearing for at least the first couple of months of school.”What can parents hold off on buying now but save on later?“Check for student discounts,” said Freeman. “Bring along those student IDs and take advantage of 10 to 15 percent student discounts at PacSun, Levi’s, H&M, Forever 21, J. Crew and many other stores.”Tech is a big expense. What can parents do to bring those prices down?“The No. 1 way to maximize your savings [is to] buy a refurb,” said Freeman. “A refurb can save you up to 60 percent or more. Just be sure to buy from reputable sellers, check return policies and read product descriptions. One of the biggest sellers of refurbs is Ebay.”She also suggested checking for student discount programs.“Go online to find out about the programs before you head into the stores,” she said. “Best Buy, Dell and Apple offer student deals that can save you hundreds of dollars. Also, you can get Microsoft Office Suite software for free with a student email address.”Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Investors were less fearful of threats from North Korea on Monday and U.S. stocks closed mostly in the green.The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 135.39 (+0.62 percent) to finish at 21,993.71.The Nasdaq climbed 83.68 (+1.34 percent) to close at 6,340.23, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,465.84, up 24.52 (+1.00 percent) from its open.Crude oil sunk more than 2.5 percent with prices at $47.50 per barrel.Winners and Losers:  Shares of Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. both finished 1.5 percent higher at the close.JC Penney Company Inc continued its downward spiral, tumbling 4 percent.Despite volatile trading earlier, Snap Inc.'s stock finished Monday 6.5 percent higher.
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  • Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With millions purchasing protective eyewear ahead of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Amazon is working to remove potentially counterfeit glasses from its marketplace and issue refunds to those who have already bought them online.A company spokesperson told ABC News in a statement overnight that it asked third-party sellers offering solar eclipse glasses to provide documentation to verify that their "products were compliant with relevant safety standards.""The offers from sellers who provided this safety documentation remain available to customers," the spokesperson said.Sellers who did not provide documentation for their listings have been removed from the site. Amazon did not name any of those listings or specific brands in its statement.Amazon confirmed that it issued refunds to some customers who purchased glasses that may not meet industry standards.Last week, Fred Espenak, retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer, told ABC News that he has heard rumors of counterfeit glasses being sold online.Espenak, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) suggest that consumers purchase off the AAS's approved list of companies that manufacture and/or sell eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers, which have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard."They've been put through a testing procedure to demonstrate that they're dark enough to prevent visible as well as ultraviolet and infrared light from passing through it," Espenak said.Some companies are placing an ISO label on their counterfeit glasses, which is why following the list of manufacturers is a surefire way to know you're being safe, according to the AAS.Here is a growing list from the AAS of approved companies that manufacture and/or sell glasses through vendors and retailers.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier announced Monday that he's resigning from the president's American Manufacturing Council amid the ongoing criticism over the president's remarks on the weekend protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.Frazier said in statement that as a "matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.""America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal," Frazier said.The president responded on Twitter, slamming the pharmaceutical executive's decision.
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