To the Point for 6-21-12

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AS WE ROLL INTO SUMMER (Can anyone believe that June is more than half over?) I can’t help but think about some upcoming events that could experience some problems as the economic downturn churns on.

But here in Switzerland County, we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen.

First on the list is the Switzerland County 4-H Fair, which will be held from July 13th-21st. There will be the usual contests and events, but again this year the community needs to come out and support the fair and the fairboard by attending the fair and its events.

Those events, especially the ones that are held in the grandstand area, need to be supported by this community so that our fair can continue to offer those types of entertainment in the future.

If out of town participants show up, only to find empty grandstands and few spectators, there’s a good chance that they’ll find somewhere else to be the following year, so we need to spend some of our money and buy a ticket and support those activities.

Another activity – a very important one – will be held on Saturday, July 21st when the livestock auction is held at the show arena.

With tough economic times hitting everyone, businesses and civic organizations are no exception; and there is a risk that there won’t be as many buyers at this year’s auction than in the past.

That can’t happen.

Yes, times are tough; but these are also times when this community needs to rally together and make sure that our children are supported.

When I moved here 28 years ago, every year was a tough year in Switzerland County. No one had any money – but the livestock auction was always a big success.

Some how, some way, this community found a way to support the next generation financially through buying animals at the livestock auction.

We need to make sure that our tradition continues.

We may have to pool some buyers together; and we may be a little lower than in past years, but these 4-H members work hard with their project animals everyday, and to send them into a show arena that’s not filled with buyers would be a crime.

The way I see it, you’ve got a month – start saving and come and buy something that truly makes an investment in our community and it’s future.

Later in the summer, the Swiss Wine Festival will kick off at the end of August. It’s four days filled with activities and entertainment and is being hailed around the state as one of Indiana’s best festivals; but all of that comes at a price.

A sponsorship price.

An admission price.

All of those entertainers and magicians and street entertainers come because they are paid to – and with nationally-known entertainment coming in for the festival, it’s important to have even bigger crowds.

All of those tee-shirts cost money; as do the plaques and medals handed out to those who win competitions.

Enjoy the parade? In part you do because it’s filled with entries. All of those entries are judged, with the winners receiving cash prizes.

No cash? Little parade.

All of those things also bring visitors into our community. Visitors who buy some gasoline on the way out of town; or who stay in a local hotel or bed and breakfast.

They may take a break from the festival and walk around downtown; or they may leave with intentions of gathering some friends and making a return visit in the future.

With the downturn in the economy, not only are we cutting back on our spending; but we also need to make sure that when we do make decisions on where to spend our money, it’s an investment in our community and in our future.

Be smart with your money.

But please consider investing in these two important events. They are worthy of your funds.

And your trust.

*

There are people who move through our lives, sometimes without much notice or attention, but when they are gone, we suddenly find a hole in our lives.

That happened late last week.

As many of you know, and many of you have been a part of, each year I’m involved in taking a group to the Bigstuf Christian Camp in Panama City Beach, Florida. In fact, as you read this, that’s exactly where I am – with former editor Bob Demaree filling in.

As our group has grown, over the years we have transported everyone with charter buses. Over the years the people on our trip have changed; but there was always one constant:

Bus Driver Dave.

Dave Guarado has always been the lead driver on our trip. Year after year, we came to look forward to his big smile and his wacky stories as we motored down the highway. Dave knew our students and he was always willing to talk with them and laugh with them. Even though he didn’t have to, Dave became a part of our Bigstuf family.

As we got ready to go this year and arrangements were made for transportation, the company I deal with said, “And I guess you want to request Dave.”

They were right. It wouldn’t be the same without him.

I am writing this column on Friday afternoon; and I’ve just gotten off of the phone with the bus company.

They needed to tell me that Dave suffered a massive heart attack while playing golf on Thursday, and had passed away.

Shock.

Of all of the people who will mourn Dave Guarado, I hope that his family knows that there is a large group of people from Switzerland County who knew him and befriended him and cared for him.

And now we miss him.

We are on our trip and the buses are doing well. We’ll meet new drivers and they’ll get us to where we’re going, but I will always think of Dave and how special he was to our kids. He could have just been “Dave, the Bus Driver.”

Instead, he took the time to be “Dave, Our Friend.”

And we will miss him.