Archive for Thursday, December 14, 2006

Letters to the Editor

December 14, 2006

To the Editor:

Dec. 3 was our annual celebration kicking off the holiday season here in Baldwin City. From my perspective, it was another example of the greatness that is Baldwin City. My position as recreation director frequently places me in the circumstance of being identified with successful endeavors that happen around town. Anyone that has attempted to put together a venture such as our celebration certainly knows that it is a major team effort that demands huge expenditures of time and energy by a ton of people. I wish to express my deep gratitude and thankfulness to ALL the people that helped make our most recent gathering such a success. (I am sure that I will miss someone, so right up front, I apologize if I do.)

First, and foremost, I am grateful to the hours and hours of work that Katie Skinner put into this effort. Anyone who watched as things came together understands that she was the driving force behind most of what happened. Knowing her as I do, I know she really won't be too impressed with being singled out, but the creative efforts and much of the hard work were hers -- strictly because she wanted to see something good happen in Baldwin City. If you want to thank someone for the celebration, she should be the first on your list.

Susan Baker at the Chamber of Commerce office also was a tremendous help in getting things organized. Teresa Lewis at the Signal was so enthusiastic and seemed a constant source of excitement. She allowed us the creative input into advertising and promotion. The Verhaeghe family -- Mel, Loretta, and Libby -- were the test group for the scavenger hunt and very involved in getting the parade to show up at all. Bob Skinner helped pull things together at the last minute when weather and jobs refused to coordinate with each other. Dana Rockers, his "bah, Humbug!" not withstanding, worked to help make it all come together, too. Josh Kohn, Tammy Michael and Debra McCullough each did their share wrapping up the night. Kansas State Bank, The Baldwin Community Arts Council, Sally Nixon at Discoveries and Ceramitherapy all made munchies and something hot to drink available to help ward off the bone chilling weather. Thank you. You are all special people.

On top of that, the excitement of business owners, who caught the vision of what the scavenger hunt was trying to do, had (and still have) a tremendous positive affect on the whole season. Reports to date indicate they are having as much fun with the hunt as the people who are actually trying to get pictures.

Each participant in the parade needs the thanks of everyone in town. The weather wasn't pleasant in any of the days that needed to be used to get floats together. Stacy's dance company was fantastic, as they are each year. The Strider's Club, represented by Ed and Phyllis Boothe, Joe Scraper, Katherine Russell, the Chapmans and Maxine Egner (hope I got you all) braved the weather and danced their way through it, lights shining. The Cheer group, The Midwest Horse and Burro Club, Knights of Columbus, Mid-America Bank, True Care Pharmacy, the Baldwin City Fire Department, Baker University, Allen Pryor from Tonganoxie, who refuses to register, but also refuses to miss the parade, all helped to make this a Picture Perfect Christmas.

In a conversation with Katie during one of the many preparation sessions, she said "This reminds me of the original Walton's movie. On Christmas Eve everyone went down to the town to catch the Christmas tree." I hope that our celebration helped you catch the holiday season and makes it a better time for all of you. Thank you all so much for letting me be a part of it all.

Monte Ezell
Baldwin City Recreation Commission director

To the editor:

Some 20 centuries ago, King Herod tried to kill Christmas. He failed.

We now have a modern Herod, or more likely several Herods, here in Baldwin City. They go around town during the Christmas season, stealing the symbols of Christmas from the yards of citizens. One of them visited our yard last Thursday evening, and stole the plastic representation of Jesus from the crib in our nativity scene. Mary and Joseph are now looking into an almost empty crib -- the light and some straw left in it.

The thieves, however, have forgotten one fact: Christmas is not a plastic baby in a crib, nor is it a nativity scene, nor is it colored lights and garland and tinsel. Even if all of those symbols are stripped from the yards and empty lots and porches -- yes, and from the inside of all the houses in Baldwin -- Christmas will remain, because Christmas is in the hearts of people, expressed in kindness and love and joy.

May the Spirit of Christmas rest upon all of us, throughout this season and all the years to come.

Jerry, Kirk and Nancy Brown
Baldwin City

To the editor:

The Lions Club would like to thank everyone for their participation with the Baldwinopoly fundraiser. To date the following donations have been made: $2,000 for defibrillators at Baldwin High School; $1,500 for the Community Fund and $1,000 to the Education Fund.

Thank you, as this would not have been possible without your help.

We have about 150 game boards that will be for sale through Christmas for $10 each. They are available at Baldwin State Bank, Discoveries, Antiques on the Prairie, or by calling 594-4239.

Lions Club
Baldwin City

To the editor:

Twenty-four years ago, in an effort to coordinate all of the many groups wanting to help others in our community with special needs, the Baldwin Area Community Emergency Fund was formed.

This emergency fund uses donations from individuals, clubs, churches and other groups to operate year-round. This past year, with a little over $14,000, we were able to meet the needs of many different kinds of requests, including $4,521.37 for utilities, $5,338.45 for food, $200 for fires, $3,426 for rent, $303.45 for medical needs and $348.10 for other family and school needs. Just this past month, more than $1,000 in food vouchers was mailed out to help more than 50 people with their Thanksgiving meals.

This coordinated group helps our community assist many families instead of a few receiving help from separate resources.

Once again we are asking for community financial involvement with donations to help keep this fund going. We appreciate your support in enabling us to assist those in our community that have needs. It is that wonderful small-town compassion and support that helps Baldwin be a community that takes care of its neighbors.

Donations may be sent in care of Baldwin State Bank, PO Box 46, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Thank you for your support.

The Baldwin Area Community Emergency Fund -- Rev. Priscilla Davies, Gail Guenther, Bobbi Halford, Kim Heckathorne, Judy Kay, Gail Kingsley, Rev. Dale Lewis, Rev. Pam Morrison, Bill Neuenswander, Donna Reed, Amy Wintermantel.

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