December 26, 2010 12:57:00 AM
A rose to everyone who opened their hearts and wallets to the less fortunate this holiday season.
The season of giving was all around us this season. Dozens of needy families were helped through Adopt-A-Family programs throughout the Golden Triangle. The Columbus Police Department raised enough money and muscle power to put together and distribute more than 200 bicycles. Food pantries and community volunteers kept everyone fed over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. And, the tinkling of our coins in the Salvation Army''s red kettles led to at least one record-breaking fundraising weekend this month in Columbus.
More can be done, however. United Way agencies across the Triangle are still lagging behind on pledges and donations this year. These agencies provide help to those who need it most in myraid ways.
Make it your new year''s resolution to give a little more to charity in 2011. We can all do better.
A rose to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society, which is pushing animal adoption this holiday season.
The city of Starkville Animal Shelter is offering cats and dogs -- spayed and neutered, of course -- for half price through the end of the year. A dog or cat in desperate need of a home can be had for only $20.
Animals not spayed or neutered are being offered for $70.
That extra Christmas money in your stocking this year could go to good use. We encourage those in the market for a pet consider a shelter dog or cat.
The shelter is located at 510 Industrial Park Road. Available cats and dogs can also be viewed at www.petfinder.com.
A rose to a Annie McDaniel, who for nearly 50 years has been delivering The Dispatch to local driveways and newspaper boxes.
McDaniel, 81, is retiring amid a bout with skin cancer. She will deliver her last paper on New Year''s Eve.
She started her route in a roundabout way, substituting for another carrier. The sometime-electrician, plumber and Avon saleswoman later took on the route for good. That was back when a subscription was 90 cents a month, and single copies were a nickel in the racks.
Much has changed in the newspaper industry since then, but Annie has remained a constant. We thank her for her wonderful service and dedication to her -- and our -- customers over the years.
A rose to local forester Francis Thomas Troskey, who had the idea 17 years ago to plant a stand of Loblolly pines on the grounds of Trinity Church, near Golden Triangle Regional Airport.
While there''s nothing special about the trees from the ground, those in the air see something different.
The trees, now matured, form a giant cross visible from up to 15,000 feet.
Troskey, now 85, had the idea to plant the trees shortly after his late wife had joined the church. The expression of faith has been seen by countless thousands who have landed at the airport over the years. And, they might provide a little comfort to even a few whose faith is wavering, Troskey ''s son, Gene, suggested this week.
"I imagine people flying are holding onto their armrests thinking, ''Lord, please, please, please don''t let me crash.'' Then, they look over and see that cross," he said.
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