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Letters to the Editor: May 5, 2010

To the Editor:

Times are bad. We hear so much negative news that it is hard to be positive about anything any more. People are worried about their families, their jobs and their homes and are doing all they can just to make ends meet. Sometimes we forget about the good things that are happening around us. We witnessed some of those good things recently. On Thursday, April 22, Relay For Life Butts County gave a birthday party for a group of people who have endured trials such as we hope we never have to face. These are people who know how to smile despite the fears they may have and the pain they have had or may be feeling. These people are cancer survivors and their caregivers who face life bravely every day.

On Friday, April 23, the survivors gathered together again to carry a torch of hope across the recreation department track and field to begin the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Relay For Life Butts County. We witnessed a great deal of joy as these proud people told their names and the number of years they have survived cancer into the microphone for all to hear and then take to the track to walk a lap of celebration. For a while our community came together as one to celebrate those who have won their battle against cancer. Among the crowd on the field were members of Relay Teams who have held many fundraisers because they want to fight back and help the American Cancer Society fund programs for cancer patients and to fund research to find a cure for cancer. Others on the field made donations of money to those teams before the event and during the event in an effort to do their part in the fight.

We saw tears of happy memories when we released balloons into the air with the names of loved ones written on them to "let our memories soar" as we remembered the good times we had with them. We saw tears of sorrow as we held the luminary ceremony and heard the names of those who have cancer or have died from cancer read. But we also saw much joy and heard much laughter following those solemn ceremonies because then it was time for happy celebration that lasted throughout the night.

It was so good to see our community come together for such an unselfish purpose and forget their problems for a while and think about others. We thank individuals and businesses who made donations to Relay For Life, whether it was a monetary or an in kind donation. We thank the relay teams who worked so hard to raise money . We thank the committee who worked tirelessly to coordinate the event. We thank the Jackson High School NJROTC for presenting the colors and for Sohmer Collins for singing the National Anthem so beautifully. We thank the school choral groups and their teachers for the entertainment. We thank the high school students and Madelyn Patterson who entertained us with their singing. We thank the middle school handbell choir for making our luminary ceremony so meaningful. We thank Bradley Michel, our DJ who donated his services. We thank Duane Kline for being our wonderful Master of Ceremonies. We apologize if we have missed anyone. We would not have a successful Relay For Life without all of you. You are all very important to us.

At this time Relay For Life Butts County has raise over $42,000.00. We still have money coming in and will not know our final total until September. The Relay For Life year continues until the end of August. We are overwhelmed by the generosity from our community. Thank You.

Donna Owens and Pat Crawford

Relay for Life Co-chairs

Jackson

To the Editor:

I recently read the article on the people who are experiencing a lay-off at the Butts County Schools. I realize they need to make changes to compensate for the budget deficit. However, you would think that they would start with the people who have nearly 40 years of service with the school system.

But did they start with these people by mandating that they retire? No, they did not which is absolutely absurd. They got together earlier this year and changed policy so that lay-offs would not pertain to them.

They are going to let these people continue to work, and I can tell you each of these people are probably making nearly 60 to 100 thousand dollars a year.

This is extremely poor management. The Board of Education and the Superintendent have their own best interest at hand, not the people or the children.

They are looking after themselves.

We need to be at the next meeting for explanations.

Elaine Edwards

Jenkinsburg