April 13, 2013 9:54:27 PM
A rose to all of those who worked so hard to make the 73rd annual Columbus Pilgrimage a success. From the home owners who so graciously opened their homes to a wave of gawking strangers, to all the hostess, the bus drivers and organizers and volunteers, this year's Pilgrimage, which ended Saturday, rated as another huge success. We should also extend a rose to Brenda Caradine's, Tennessee Williams' most devoted fan, who produced the Williams' play, "Kingdom of Earth" for a two-week run at the old Alford Drug Store. Roses to Chuck Yarborough and his students at MSMS for another chapter of the highly popular "Tales From the Crypt" at Friendship Cemetery. Organizers didn't have a final tally on attendance, but all indicators are the Pilgrimage was as big a draw as ever and it continues to be a source of pride for our community.
A thorn to Ward 5 candidates Kenneth McFarland and Kabir Karriem, who have twice denied voters the opportunity to hear them at candidate forums. Karriem, the incumbent, citing a scheduling conflict, declined an opportunity to speak before an Exchange Club audience during the organization's series of candidate forums in March. McFarland, meanwhile, was a no-show at Thursday's League of Voters forum at the Columbus Municipal Complex, giving no reason for his absence. It serves neither the candidates nor the voters to miss these opportunities to help residents make an informed choice.
A rose to all the organizations who rushed to Noxubee County in the wake of Thursday afternoon's tornado, which destroyed numerous homes and sent two residents to the hospital with serious injuries. From law enforcement agencies, to crews from 4-County Electric, to the efforts of faith-based disaster relief organizations, each played a role in mitigating the misery that a tornado visits on a community.
A rose to Lee Burdine, who was honored with the Columbus Exchange Club's Andy Morris Book of Golden Deeds award for his dedicated service to the community. Burdine is a member of First United Methodist Church Columbus, where he serves on its board of trustees and the mission chair. Burdine had led 12 international mission trips with the church, served as a task force chairman for a church group assisting victims recovering from Hurricane Katrina and assisted in the construction of several Habitat for Humanity houses. He has also raised money for several service organizations, including the Good Samaritan Medical Clinic, Helping Hands, the Wesley Foundation, the Loaves and Fishes Ministry and the Salvation Army among others.
Award presenter Judge Jim Davidson succinctly described the impact of people such as Burdine:
"We're all confronted almost daily with opportunities to help others. Some we recognize and some we don't," he said. "Winners of this award not only do not miss the opportunities, but they seek them out and even create them."
That's definitely rose worthy.