Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Christmas Cheer makes a difference
Our goal every year at Christmas Cheer is to help families in need in our area to have a Merry Christmas by providing them food and, if possible, some gifts.
We had good indicators that the number of applicants may be larger than the 286 families we provided for in 2013 — and it was. For 2014, we had 325 families and senior citizens apply for help, and we can say with pure joy that all were provided for.
Our goal was met because many people from all walks of life, young to old, stepped up and came together not just on Christmas Eve morning, but months prior to the event. Our schools, local businesses, churches, civic groups and individual volunteers gave goods, dollars and time so the goal could be reached.
The reward from all the prior work happens on Christmas Eve morning. Without prompting, from about 5:30 a.m. the volunteers start arriving at La Creole Middle School to sort, shop, pack and deliver the holiday food boxes that fill receiving family’s refrigerators and cupboards. The volunteer count this year was estimated at 550. What a great time of reunion and celebration was had by both new and returning volunteers. It is pure joy to see the hands and feet of our community come together to provide to those in need.
We hope this letter of thanks gets to all who took the time to help both financially and physically, and also to those who received the gift of food and toys that this act of kindness will be remembered throughout the new year.
On behalf of our board of directors, to all the donors and volunteers, again we say “thank you” and look forward to seeing you next year.
Warren and Sue Lamb
Dallas Christmas Cheer
Community should support levy idea
Currently, the Polk County commissioners are conducting a series of meetings around the county to gather public input on a new public safety levy.
I recognize the challenges the commissioners face. It is hard to ask for new taxes when the voter base doesn’t have a sincere belief in the value of the services to be supported.
I know the dedication, work and energy required to get voters to support and fund public services. Twice, as a city councilor, I asked Monmouth voters for money. I campaigned to secure passage of the Monmouth police station bond and worked with Polk Fire District No.1 to gain approval of the recent bond and levy measures. These measures passed because voters came to understand the community value of the requests.
More than ever, those of you who voted for Commissioners Pope, Ainsworth and Wheeler should stand with them and show support for their difficult decision in asking you for additional taxes. Let them know that, not only will you vote “yes” for this levy, but that you will support their leadership in this challenge to make Polk County safer by helping the commissioners get out the vote.
Polk County cannot wait for someone else to make us financially whole.
Call, email or drop by the commissioner’s office to let them know you voted for their leadership and still support their financial leadership.
Learn how public safety system works
While the talks about the proposed Polk County public safety levy are ongoing, a person must ask themselves if this system is worth continuing or not.
People know they pay their taxes to the county treasurer, who then redistributes tax dollars back to the cities and leaves little for the general fund, which is responsible for operating several key offices that could benefit every person in Polk County. Those departments include: Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Jail, district attorney’s office, juvenile department and community corrections.
If enforcement action is taken by a city police officer, the case gets sent to the DA’s office for prosecution and possibly to community corrections for supervision. During this time, the offender is being housed in the jail, ran by the sheriff.
It is important for people within a city to understand what occurs after the handcuffs are removed and the person is taken to jail by their local police department. The cities don’t pay for this process, yet the public expects and demands these essential functions.
If you have already made up your mind to not support public safety, I want to give you some scenarios to think about. If you have a police department, but no district attorney’s office, where does that leave you? If you have no jail, people who commit crimes will not be held accountable for their actions.
We can’t afford to only have one or two parts of this system functioning while the others aren’t. If the system is broken, then the public safety system won’t be able to do what it is supposed to do, which is to protect citizens of the county by holding people accountable for their actions and to stand up for rights of the victims in criminal cases.
Consider supporting the entire public safety system.
Volunteers are key to tourney success
The third annual Brunner Invitational, a Dallas High School wrestling tournament named after Janet Brunner, who ran the event for 20 years, was an exciting event yet again. This year, there was a total of seven teams competing on five mats in two gyms at Dallas High on Saturday. The tournament consisted of 378 matches with 125 student-athletes participating.
Huge kudos to the many volunteers that assisted. The tournament would not be possible without you.
Special thanks to Liz Dunagan, who has run an outstanding concessions for many years, and Betty Jordan, who headed up the hospitality room.
We are fortunate to live in a generous community such as Dallas. DHS wrestling very much appreciates our many sponsors: Thrifty Market, Lime Berry, Rite Aid, Mira Mar, Courthouse Café, Ugo’s Pizza and North Dallas Bar & Grill.
All admissions and concessions receipts will help fund the wrestling program. Thank you for your continued support, and we hope to see you next year.