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Letters Published in January 9, 2008 Issue
Jan. 9, 2008 - Letter Submitted by Bill and Helen Gorman, Frieda Newcomer Dunlavy and Sheila Jones - Knightstown Cheer Guild Committee
Christmas 2007 found the Knightstown Cheer Guild able to help 66 families and 158 children due to many donors sharing their time, expertise, food, toys and money to help those less fortunate in the school district. There were also eight families who received food and toys at the last minute and eight older people who received food.
The Cheer Guild was started many years ago to help Knightstown Elementary students who were in need to have a nice Christmas, since that time it has expanded to the Intermediate and Senior High students of the school district. People do not realize how many hours of time that are donated by many people to accomplish this task.
First, the schools send out letters to those families they feel may need help, (principals, teachers, secretaries and nurses) then papers are filled out and returned and investigators are sent out to discuss the needs of each family (members of Psi Iota Xi, Sorority, Optimists Club, Lions Club and the Joy Class and others of KUMC served as investigators) Applications are reviewed and recipients are selected. The ladies of Tri Kappa Sorority shop for clothes for each child. The Optimist Club sponsors a toy drive. The schools sponsor a food drive and this year the fourth graders at Knightstown Elementary did a shoebox project instead of a gift exchange and donated the boxes to Cheer Guild. The High School Art, American Family and Consumer Sciences and English departments have sponsored the Empty Bowls project and have donated $1,000 to Cheer Guild and $1,000 to the local food pantry. Others take collections such as the community-wide Thanksgiving program sponsored by the ministerial association to help gather money. Ameriana and Citizens banks donated a ham for each family. This year, Knightstown employees at Regency Place in Greenfield applied to a food supplier program which donated a turkey for each employee. But, the turkeys are not given to employees; they are turned over to a charity. We received 27 turkeys to distribute this year. Curves also had a toy drive and several churches and clubs and sororities also donated money. Others pick up the food at the schools and bring it to Hoosier Gym. People and organizations who donated to the cause have been listed in the Banner over the past few weeks. We appreciate the Banner's participation in helping the Cheer Guild get the public informed. We also hope we have not left out anyone or group who have donated time, money or their talents. If so we apologize for the error as every deed is important to making this community effort a success.
Our biggest surprise was the number of people who turned out to sort the donated food and toys on the morning of December 24th. We had over 100 people of all ages working through out the morning and afternoon to accomplish the task, usually we have around 30 people. One person said "This looks like organized chaos, but everyone seems to know what to do." There were people wrapping toys at six different tables, people sorting food, later taking a box and shopping for food for each family according to size and ages of children in the family, others were bagging the wrapped toys according to families. All these items were put in a pile according to their name on the gym floor. In the last few years we have given families the option of having it delivered or them picking it up at the Hoosier Gym. There were gentlemen delivering to families all over the Charles A Beard School area while other volunteers remained in the afternoon to help families load their vehicles with clothing, toys, a ham, a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and a big box of food as they came to receive their gift from the community. We especially thank the Hoosier Gym Committee for allowing us to use the gym to store and sort the articles to be distributed.
We, the Knightstown Cheer Guild Committee, wish to thank everyone for help in making the 2007 drive a success. If you would like to help next year please contact one of us. We especially need more good investigators to speed up that process.
Jan. 9, 2008 - Letter Submitted by Brett "Beet" Ratlilff, Knightstown
A very special thank you to all of those that gave phone calls and visits of concern on my behalf, plus the donations of clothes and blankets, over the fire at my home on December 17. Special thanks to all of the volunteer firefighters from Knightstown, Dunreith and Spiceland. If it weren't for the professionalism of those firefighters, there might not be a home to recover. Thanks!
Another special thanks goes out to Eric Cox. He gave comfort to Mama when she needed it. Thank you very much, Eric.
Thank you to Amy Leisure. She was most concerned about my dog, Chump. She told the firefighters there was a good chance my dog was in the home. For those of you who don't know … he wasn't here. Thank you, Amy.
The small town is what it is all about. Everyone knows everyone, and in a time like this … that is a great thing!
Another special thanks to my neighbor, Dot, for keeping an eye on the neighborhood. Monica Evans gets a special thanks as well. While driving east on U.S. 40, she notices a little more smoke than normal coming from the house and she circled the house until I was notified. Thanks, Monica.
Another special to my buddies, Scotty, Darren and Phyllis, and my sister, Wendi, for standing out in the cold and trying to make the best of the situation.
Thank you, John Tice and staff at National Insurance Agency for prompt service and being what an insurance company should be. Thanks!
Jan. 9, 2008 - Letter Submitted by John Leisure, Knightstown
Things could be worse than they are at the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corp. Sure, the administration there is every bit as supportive of free speech, free thinking and open-mindedness as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Joseph Stalin ever were, but things could be worse. Yes, the school administration handles requests for information, even when it has been deemed public information, with all of the subtlety and art one would expect from a KGB hit squad in a 007 movie, but things could be worse. Yes, copies of some requested e-mails may never be made available due to their "accidental" loss during a "technology upgrade." (Let's hope they never find out that a competent computer tech can often retrieve "lost" information - otherwise CAB might find it necessary to "accidentally" smash computer hard drives with a sledgehammer.) Still, things could be much worse.
Let's be thankful that our school system hasn't yet decided it would be a good idea to force "Intelligent Design" into the science curriculum. The cost of that decision could be catastrophic! The money wasted by CAB on "The Teddy Bear Master" fiasco and fighting requests for information - information that the public has a right to know - is pocket change compared to the cost the Dover County (Penn.) School System is paying for their decisions. The school there is on the hook for over $1,000,000 in court costs and attorney fees. The members of the school board who decided to include "Intelligent Design" in science, of course, aren't responsible for any of those costs - they are simply former school board members.
The taxpayers and the students have to foot that bill. Now the state of Texas is facing a similar problem: The same "Discovery Foundation" that got folks in Dover to go along with their program is now at work in Texas. This could waste tens of millions of dollars intended for educating children.
Wouldn't it be better for the students of CAB, and every other school system, if every possible penny were spent for their education rather than being wasted on petty battles of will between taxpayers and the school administration? Thankfully, we don't have to worry about this conflict between 10th Century dogma and 21st Century science yet. Things could be much worse.
Jan. 9, 2008 - Letter Submitted by Mike McDonald, Knightstown
This is response to Ty Swincher's November 21, 2007, Inside the Chrome Dome column.
So, you're going deer hunting - great! I hope you enjoy it. So many people today have gotten away from enjoying the great outdoors. Most of us have settled in to an indoor routine of TV and video games. We have forgotten what a wonderful world awaits us just outside our front door. Too many youth today have never experienced an outdoor adventure because we, as adults, fail to be a part of that experience too.
Going on a trip with friends was an excellent adventure in itself. The chance to form greater bonds and lasting friendships is an essence of who we are as a people. I treasure their friendship and I feel as though I learn a little more about them each time we get together outdoors.
It sounds as if the hunting trip to Arkansas was one to remember and treasure for a lifetime. Even though you suffered a theft and the expense of replacing the stolen canoes, it must have been a great learning experience.
You mentioned the trip was well planned and the guys were true outdoorsman. So what if the compass did not work. You still found your cabin after being lost in the Ozarks - pretty impressive. People with less experience might have suffered serious trouble finding their way around in the Ozark Mountains.
Don't be ashamed of your bow hunting abilities. Bow hunting is difficult for even the most accomplished hunters. I have lost countless arrows hunting. I wonder if putting a homing beacon on them might help. The batteries would probably die.
I have spent countless dollars on camo gear and equipment to make myself invisible to the animals … only to find out they do it better and cheaper.
You did not feet the trip was worth mentioning, and, yet, as I read your story I found myself hunting for every word and enjoying the experience as if I were right there with you. I only regret that it took you this long to write it down and tell us of your adventure. Adventure - that was what the hunting trip was all about, wasn't it, an adventure? Lucky you!
I have a Native American friend that gave me some advice many years ago. He said, "Life should not be measured by your accomplishments, but by the journeys you make to reach those ends." Our journey is what makes life so much fun.
You said you took a hunting trip. You recalled seeing deer, maybe at the wrong time, but you did see them. You didn't say it was a deer killing trip - just a hunting trip. It sounds like it was a great success. Laugh, enjoy the memory. Remember, not one deer was killed, and no one got hurt. Oh, and by the way, the deer are still out there and waiting.
I am looking forward to your next report from our half-frozen, half-blind, and maybe half shotgun hunter's next adventure. You only need one eye with a camera.
I wish you luck and hope you are half as successful as your first time. Please don't wait another 20-plus years to tell us how it fares. I may miss it. I'm sure it will be just as interesting, so please keep us posted. No hunting?
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