Flanked by Carol Lenz, left, and Cathy Scarpanella, Father Thomas...

Flanked by Carol Lenz, left, and Cathy Scarpanella, Father Thomas Hartman, blows out candles on his 65th birthday cake during a fundraiser for his Thomas Hartman Foundation for Parkinson's Research on June 21, 2011. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

It touched my heart to read the Act II cover story on Msgr. Tom Hartman ["A different way to serve," July 16].

I was privileged to be a guest on his TV program twice, and was captivated by this beloved being's intelligence, sparkling personality, graciousness, caring and efforts to promote public health and well-being.

During the TV program discussion of my role in appeals for a smoke-free environment in public places on Long Island, Father Tom skillfully and enthusiastically guided an informative and congenial chat, which we both hoped would reach smoking and nonsmoking viewers.

Father Tom has endeared himself to all who have been fortunate to know him personally and through the media.

Claire Millman, Plainview

Editor's note: The writer is president of the Alliance For Smoke-Free Air.