To the point week of 6-24-10

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THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT things going on around the community in the coming weeks. Things that we need to be aware of are often things that pass us by, and each of us has the opportunity in the next few weeks to be a part of something important.

Tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday the Switzerland County Relay for Life event will be held in the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park in Vevay. The event starts at 6 p.m. with a ceremonial lap for survivors of cancer. After that there are all types of activities for everyone, but everything is geared at one cause – finding a cure for cancer.

Now there are some misconceptions about the “Relay”.

First of all, you don’t have to stay all night if you drive down. This isn’t some sort of “lock in”, and I’ve had people in the past tell me that they would like to come down, but they couldn’t stay up all night.

You don’t have to stay there all night, you just need to come down and spend some time and visit with some friends. You may want to buy something at the auction; or purchase a luminary in honor or in memory of someone; or grab some food from one of the teams.

Even if you only stay a few minutes, your presence and your support go miles towards not only finding a cure; but also for the morale of those who are battling the disease – or who have lost a loved one to it.

Now it’s true that not every dollar raised goes directly to research, and that has been a point of contention in the past. Some have wanted to keep the money locally and support our residents who are fighting cancer; and I agree that as a community we should help each other.

But I think that comes in another form. Through some sort of benevolence fund we as a community should have a discussion and find a way that people who need some help and their families can get that help.

Face it – you’re never going to pay off a hospital bill. The biggest fundraiser in county history probably couldn’t keep pace with the medical bill accumulating while the event was going on. To me, to have a fundraiser to help pay medical bills is a good gesture, but it’s missing the point.

What we need are fundraisers that can help provide some money for gas as people drive back and forth for treatments or surgeries. We need to pay for some family meals as they are away from home at a hospital; or some general expenses that need to be looked after while families are away.

The electric bill doesn’t stop coming when you have cancer.

So I think some form of fund to address those issues is a noble and worthy gesture; but the purpose for events nationally such as the “Relay for Life” is to find a cure.

I know this is a little “out there” to think about, but someday, some person is going to buy a luminary or a sandwich or bid on an auction item; and that money – that specific dollar – is going to find its way into the hand of a researcher who is going to then have just enough money to fund some experiment that he’s been hoping to use to hunt for a cure.

And suppose that dollar that funds the research finds the cure.

Ever think about that?

Chances are you’re going to go somewhere tomorrow night and you’re going to spend some money doing something. Why not spend that money to have some fun, but also to support a really good cause.

A lot of people have put in a lot of time – all volunteer – to make this event a great one. Let’s show up and support them – and it.

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We are also just over a week away from the Town of Patriot’s Fourth of July parade.

If you’ve never been, I need to tell you that it’s something that you shouldn’t miss. From the parade “floats” to fire engines and police cruisers; young and old turn out to show not only their community pride; but also their national pride.

After all, you’re watching a Fourth of July parade in the only town in America named “Patriot”.

Our freedoms and privileges are something that many of us take for granted anymore; but you don’t need to look any further than Iraq and Afghanistan to see that people are dying to have just a portion of the rights that we all enjoy each and every day.

After the parade, you’ll want to walk around the corner to the Patriot Memorial Park, where you will see a flag ceremony that will not only make you proud to be an American; but it will also put a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye.

Because the Fourth of July is on a Sunday this year, the parade and festivities are starting at 1 p.m. as to not conflict with church services; so make plans now to drive to Patriot and take in all of the festivities and celebrations that the community affords.

You’ll be really glad you did; and I’m wagering that once you go, it will become a yearly tradition.