updated 02/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST


"Thank you, Oprah, for giving hope, courage and, above all, education to our world's future generation"

Julia Dain
Seattle, Wash.

My issue of PEOPLE arrived, and I immediately turned to the article about my heroine, Oprah Winfrey. That lady has more love and compassion for others than most folks have for their families. She just gives and gives. She truly is an inspiration for all young people in school now, whatever color. Hooray for you, Oprah!

Carolyn Mast
Valle Crucis, N.C.

I've never particularly been a fan of Oprah as an entertainer, but the story on her South African academy for girls moved me to tears. There are so many celebrities who speak of "doing good," but talk is cheap. With Oprah, she has really given back in so many ways. More power to her for actually helping those who want to learn. Maybe I am a fan after all.

Stephanie C. Ulmer
Montclair, Calif.

Couldn't Oprah find 152 bright but impoverished young girls with "heartbreaking backgrounds and ambitious dreams" right here in the United States to give $40 million in scholarships? Not all American kids want iPods or sneakers, Oprah.

Mary G. Muktarian
Harrisburg, Penn.

I am so proud of Oprah for opening her school for girls in South Africa. I am sure there will be critics and naysayers, but it is Oprah's money. She has been more than generous in her giving to causes in America in the past. I wholeheartedly respect and commend her for what she has done for these children. God bless you, Oprah. I am proud of you and all that you do.

Venitta Johnson
Powells Point, N.C.


As the world mourns the death of Gerald Ford, I'm reminded of Betty Ford's pioneering efforts at breast cancer awareness. Her personal and painful disclosure of her battle with the disease shattered the taboo of discussing it openly. She empowered survivors like me to dedicate our lives to ending breast cancer. It is time to honor the courage of Betty Ford and see this fight through so no one has to fear breast cancer again.

Nancy G. Brinker
Dallas, Texas


Wow. I thought the article on Sylvester Stallone would be empty and shallow. How wrong I was. Rocky Balboa gives insight to unfinished dreams, old age and the mind-set to accept both. His new movie will boost boomers as they approach the age of "should haves, could haves and why the hell didn't I's." Thanks, Sylvester, this Rocky was the best yet.

Bette Dolan
Fulton, Md.


The photo in the Matt Lauer article of him with his little girl is one of the cutest I've ever seen. He should frame it. The way his daughter is looking at him is priceless!

Barb Keith
Dixon, Ill.


Many readers were unsettled by our story about people obsessed with plastic surgery. "I assumed your article was about cosmetic surgery gone wrong, but I was shocked to read that these people wanted to look like that," writes Anne Sadlier of the Bronx. "As a 50-year-old, average-looking woman with some wrinkles and a less than buff body, I can honestly say I'd rather look the way I do than like some mutation of a human being. I'm happy, warts and all." A few cosmetic surgeons expressed dismay at colleagues who were responsible for such surgery. "As a plastic surgeon, I was saddened by your article," writes Michael Halls of San Diego. "It illustrates the problem of economically motivated physicians who are unable or unwilling to adequately screen vulnerable patients."

Correction In our Jan. 29 issue we misspelled actor John Krasinski's name. We regret the error.

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