Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Relay for Life was another success

May 7, 2003

It was time again Friday night for yet another of the Baldwin City community events that make you proud to live here. This time it was Relay for Life and, as usual, it was done up right.

I've watched from the sidelines, taking pictures of course, of the Relay for the last four years. I've always thought it was a great event. This year was even better, for several reasons, for me. First was it wasn't on the same night as prom. That always caused scheduling conflicts. Second was I was involved, even though it was just for set-up and dismantling.

I was first out to grab a spot for the tent and other paraphernalia for one of the teams. I didn't have any of the equipment with me, so I was just standing there, standing my ground on a corner spot. It was interesting to watch as the tent city started taking shape.

After toting and lifting most of the equipment for the 10-person team into the stadium, camp set up went smoothly. Then I was able to go back to what I normally do at Relay for Life -- take pictures of the early action, cover the opening ceremonies and shoot some of the actual walking.

Then it was time for me to leave. As has been reported back to me from then on, it was the usual night for lots of fun while raising money for a great cause -- cancer research. The Relay is always fun, but there's also the important side to it and that's always brought home by the opening ceremonies.

This year's speaker, Alice Ann Callahan Russell, was inspiring. What I took most from her speech was the need for early diagnosis. She talked about going into get checked, even though she said the symptoms were minor. It was a good thing she did. To this point, her battle with cancer has been successful. Those stories are always good to hear, as are the brief remarks made by all the cancer survivors on hand to start off the Relay.

It was another success, to the tune of more than $22,000 raised. Co-chairs Susan Hoffman and Star Novak did a wonderful job in pulling it off once again. Of course they had plenty of help, too, from a whole host of volunteers.

It's an enormous effort and Baldwin City and Baker University can be proud that the joint effort once again netted major dollars for the American Cancer Society.

Oh, yes, there was the ending drench that was new this year. The sprinklers on the football field at Liston Stadium went off automatically around 6 a.m. That caused a great deal of commotion for the dreary-eyed walkers who had been up all night for the most part. It made for a soggy clean up of the tent city and a day or so to dry everything out. But, it was for a good cause and, now that's it over, those that got wet can laugh about it.

Or at least I think so.

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  • It's been interesting again to watch the "debate" over Marion Springs Elementary School. It was suggested at the recent school district budget cutting forum that MSES be closed down because of the inequities involved in cost per pupil for education.

Not surprisingly, the MSES contingent has taken exception, as has happened in the past. Marion Springs is a wonderful learning environment. There's no doubt. But, there's a price for it.

I can honestly say I'm straddling the fence on this one. I see both sides. That's also what I hope everyone will do -- both "sides," especially -- and take a walk in the others' shoes.

Next week's school board meeting may be as interesting as the forum was. Don't know that there will be quite the turnout, though. School board members are faced with some tremendously hard decisions to make. We all have to keep that in mind and also let them know how we feel. But, we should also stay civil about it.

As usual, it's been interesting to see what's been said about such topics on SpeakOut!, the Signal's online community forum at www.baldwincity.com. It took awhile for the budget cut discussion to get started, but then it took off. However, it died Friday and hasn't been rekindled yet.

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  • We love letters to the editor at the Signal, make no mistake. But, we have one simple rule that is always followed. Letters must be signed. We received a good letter this week concerning sidewalk inequities around schools. It wasn't signed and there was no return address.

Sorry, can't use it. Whoever wrote it made excellent points. Give us a call to let us know who you are and we'll use it.

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  • Graduation is just around the corner and it's so hard to believe that my son Anthony will be walking across that stage. Brother Brett's trip last year was quite the experience, as was his first year in college. Now Anth will be 20 miles south of Brett in Des Moines, Iowa, at Simpson College in the fall.

My how these times are changing.

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