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Letters to the editor

December 05, 2003

Halfway went a long way for Shrine


To the editor:

Whenever a person or group does an outstanding good deed for the benefit of someone less fortunate, they should be acknowledged and thanked publicly.

That is the reason for my letter.

The members of Ali Ghan Shrine in Cumberland, Md., extend their heartfelt thanks for a job well done to the Halfway Volunteer Fire Department.

They transported a child from the Frederick, Md., area to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, at no cost to our organization or to the parents of this child.

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As you may or may not be aware, the Shrine of North America operates 22 hospitals in North America, treating children up to the age of 18, for orthopedic and or burns injuries or problems. The budget for the operation of these hospitals in 2003 is over $600 million. Not included in the budget is money to transport these children to the closest hospital for treatment.

Cost of transportation falls to the local Shrine Center, in this case Ali Ghan Shrine. In 2002 Ali Ghan spent more than $25,000 transporting children to Philadelphia for orthopedic problems and to Cincinnati, Ohio, for burn treatment.

Sometimes the transportation of a child requires an ambulance, due to the type and severity of the problem. The cost of an ambulance is very high and would cause financial hardship for Ali Ghan Shrine, as all of our funds are generated through donations from members and concerned citizens.

When a group of outstanding citizens such as the Halfway Volunteer Fire Department steps forward and volunteers the services of their ambulance and drivers at no cost to Ali Ghan Shrine or the family, to ensure that a child in need receives the treatment required it is difficult to find words to express the proper gratitude.

Halfway volunteers, thank you for a job well done.

Charles A. Johnson
Potentate
Ali Ghan Shrine
Cumberland, Md.




Mail Call is no Action Line


To the editor:

The Herald-Mail newspaper at one time ran a column called "Action Line." We could call in or write. We usually could get positive and reasonable results from our ideas or problems.

I suppose that there were many readers who enjoyed the Action Line and waited anxiously for a response from their complaint, ideas, etc.

If Mail Call was used to replace Action Line, then thumbs down to the newspaper. Mail Call is nothing but nonsense, whereas Action Line provided something beneficial and its data could lead to something of sound judgment and good purpose.

Arthur P. Keifer
Boonsboro




Obey the signs; save some lives


To the editor:

Once again, as I was driving through my neighborhood as children are being taken to school, a car went flying through the stop sign on Lauren Road at Orchard Terrace Road. These people, in a gold pick-up truck, were taking their daughter to school. There is also a silver SUV's driver who likes to run this same stop sign with their son in the car. And, believe me, they seem to have no intention of stopping.

They don't slow down at all! I'm certainly glad that I don't drive like that and hadn't decided to run my stop sign at that same moment, because I certainly would have injured or killed their child. Do they value the lives of their children or are they in too much of a hurry to think about it?

And what are you teaching your children about driving? I hope when they turn 16 and you are anxiously awaiting their safe return home, you think about the stop signs they are running and whether or not they are driving the speed limit.

Laura Rau
Hagerstown




Rowland wrong about volunteers


To the editor:

In a recent opinion piece on Washington County Hospital's proposed move to the Robinwood Medical Center, Tim Rowland said the hospital "all but spits on the men and women who have poured countless volunteer hours and countless dollars into the existing hospital."

I would like Mr. Rowland to know what nothing could be further from the truth. I have been a volunteer at the hospital since May 1999, working in the gift shop and the auxiliary office. I've given 2,734 hours of my time - much of it in the company of other volunteers.

I have never heard the sentiment that Mr. Rowland offered from volunteers. On the contrary, the hospital has honored volunteers for their contributions to patient care and for the funds they raise to provide equipment, scholarships for healthcare professionals, and other important projects. The hospital hired a full-time director of volunteer services, who communicates regularly with volunteers to keep them informed of hospital activities. In fact, we have had two presentations in the past year from Jim Hamill, president and CEO of the Washington County Health System, on the progress of the new hospital.

Mr. Rowland does more harm than good, when he speaks for a whole group that he knows very little about. I suggest that in the future, he talk with any of the 300-plus active volunteers before he writes about our relationship with the hospital.

Carolyn Gish
Hagerstown




Christmas story free on this DVD


To the editor:

Call 1-877-300-8000 (toll-free) to bring the spirit of Christmas into your home with a free DVD or video about the story of the Savior's birth and His life, featuring music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Larry D. Kump
Falling Waters, W.Va.

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