Michigan Grandchild Wins Computers for Himself And His Florida Grandmother in Grandparents Day Contest

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 8, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Marge Wolf, of North Fort Myers, Fla., and her 13-year-old grandson Bryan Zarnowski, of Auburn Hills, Mich., are grand prize winners of the Grandchild Connections contest sponsored by Microsoft. Grandmother and grandson have each won a computer and a large assortment of Microsoft® software. As part of their winnings, they were able to select a nonprofit organization to receive a computer and product library as well. The e-mail duo chose Habitat for Humanity. The contest was created in celebration of Grandparents Day to recognize how technology can help bring generations together and enhance relationships between grandparents and grandchildren.

Microsoft asked grandparents to submit an e-mail message from a grandchild that was especially memorable, made them laugh, brought tears to their eyes or made their heart swell with pride. Before moving to Florida, Marge Wolf and her husband, Al, helped raise Bryan while his mother was still in college; they now exchange e-mail with him daily. Communicating via e-mail enables grandmother and grandson to stay in touch and maintain their strong bond.

“I just want you to know that I miss both of you. You are almost like my real parents ’cause you helped raise me when Mom was busy finishing college,”
said Bryan in the winning e-mail message, one of many he writes to his grandmother using a friend’s computer. In the same message, Bryan expressed how proud he is of his mother and how much he looked forward to visiting his grandparents later in the summer. With his new computer from Microsoft, Bryan will be able to send e-mail to his grandparents as often as he likes.

Marge, who learned how to use computers when she was working full time as a middle school computer lab manager, is an avid computer user.
“I’m always thrilled to get Bryan’s e-mail and always look forward to reading them,”
she said.
“Something about this e-mail touched me very deeply. I guess it’s because you don’t expect a 13-year-old boy to be so emotive when talking about his feelings for his mother and grandparents.”

In addition to communicating with her grandson, Marge has been using e-mail to stay in touch with her brothers and a best friend, all of whom live in her native city of Milwaukee. Now working part time as an organist, Marge also regularly uses the Internet to keep up with the latest music available online, to purchase items online and to read news from home, including stories about her favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers. She plans to use her new computer to learn how to download music from the Internet and will also use it to manage her and her husband’s finances and work schedules.

“Computers provide an easy way for families to stay in touch and remain close, regardless of how many miles apart they live,”
said Bob Herbold, chief operating officer of Microsoft.
“Marge and Bryan’s relationship is a wonderful example of how technology enhances the lives of people of all ages. Microsoft hopes this contest will encourage more older adults to take advantage of technology as a tool that can help them reach out to their families and friends.”

In addition to the grand prize winners, Microsoft awarded second prize to 10 sets of grandparents and grandchildren, giving each full Microsoft product libraries.

The grand prize awarded by Microsoft to Marge, Bryan and Habitat for Humanity includes three Dell computers with 17-inch monitors and a library of Microsoft products. This package, which was also awarded to the second prize winners, includes a Microsoft product library of the Windows® 98 operating system, Microsoft Plus 98, Microsoft Office, the Microsoft Encarta® Africana multimedia encyclopedia,
“Microsoft Flight Simulator 98,” the Microsoft Natural® Keyboard Elite, the Microsoft IntelliMouse® Pro pointing device, Microsoft Works Suite 99 and a selection of Microsoft Press® training materials.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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