Letters to the editor for 12/29

December 29, 2003

Help the kids

To the editor:

Much like the year 2003, many of the childhoods for Boys & Girls Club members are passing too fast. Seems like yesterday the school year was starting and we were preparing for after-school programs. And now the year is ending and we must prepare for the 2004 program year.

This will be a special year, with your help. Your support will allow the continuance of youth development programs to more than 3,000 local kids, help provide programs for children in public housing and assist the startup of a new program in Cascade. Your gift to the Boys & Girls Club will help make these things happen.

As we close out 2003, I ask you to join me in making a gift of $175 to sponsor one child for the rest of the school year. Your support will provide the care and concern that reflects how you feel about our community and your Boys & Girls Club.


Arthur Claybon, 17, has been a member of our club since he was 5 years old. This year he was named the Youth of the Year for the State of Maryland. Through his Youth of the Year Scholarship from the Boys & Girls Club, Arthur is attending Hagerstown Community College and plans to study physical therapy. His words upon being announced as the 2003 Youth of the Year in Annapolis ring true: "If you start out struggling you can have a stronger finish." Arthur is an example of what can be achieved when we work together.

The year is ending, and just like childhood for many of our children, time is running out. Help us strengthen our community by developing productive, responsible and caring young people, like Arthur says, "who can have strong finishes." Please continue supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, the positive place for kids! Thank you!

James S. Deaner

Executive Director

Boys & Girls Club of Washington County

Support the Hawks

To the editor:

This article printed in the Dec. 11 edition of the Morning Herald titled "Times change, so must HCC basketball program," has me so outraged that I'll try to respond in a reasonable manner. Is Dan Kaufman suggesting that the reason for lack of community support for HCC basketball is because of Coach Keyes?

I have been attending HCC men and women's basketball for over 25 years, and there have never been overwhelming crowds at the games, except for the Allegany game. I also travel to HCC's away games (up to 90 minutes traveling distance), and there are way fewer spectators at these games. About three years ago at a Hawk away game, I was the only person in the gym besides the two teams, scorers and refs. Then at halftime, two young men wandered in and asked me, "What's going on?"

And as for recruiting local players, there were five Washington County players on the team last year, and two this year.

Kaufman needs to move into the 21st century and change his way of understanding. Community college is no longer the "kid next door" neighborhood school, but the "kid all over the world" institution of higher education. The role of many community college athletic programs is that of a training ground to fine-tune athletes, academically or technically, to prepare them for the rigors of four-year programs.

Many major universities will send athletes to community colleges with outstanding programs for that reason. HCC has been used in this capacity for years and is recognized nationwide by Division I coaches for its top-notched basketball program. Also, it's a free country. Students may attend any college they choose.

Last, but not least, how about a little more press? I was at the Pepsi Christmas Tournament recently at Allegany. HCC men were undefeated (8-0) and Thomas Johnson scored his career high, 37 points. But I practically had to use the Hubble telescope to find the write-up. I found it on the last page of the sports section, all of 65 words, give or take a word or two. At least mention the game on the front page. Come on, now! The prison guard who posed nude sure did get a lot of coverage (no pun intended).

Mr. Kaufman, please visit other community college basketball games in the neighborhood and then support our Hawks in the press with positive and enthusiastic coverage.

Anita E. Kay


Good deed appreciated

To the editor:

Following Jesus' example of applauding a Good Samaritan, I offer the following thanks to Phil Physioc, owner of Fitness Priority in Hagerstown.

It was my son's 14th birthday and his eager request was to ride in a Hummer. We wondered if we could pull this off, seeing we didn't know anyone personally who owned one, and dealerships aren't accustomed to people taking joyrides in Hummers.

So, after praying about it, we were traveling on Dual Highway a few days before his birthday when we saw a huge, yellow Hummer parked at Denny's. We got the idea to simply leave a note on the Hummer explaining our situation and offering to pay the owner, whoever that was, to help us make his 14th birthday a success.

We pulled away wondering if it was too unreasonable. Within the hour we received a phone call from Phil who sounded very happy to help and refused to take our money. He indicated that he'd be pleased to make our son's birthday wish come true.

You should've seen the surprised look on our son's face when the Hummer pulled into the driveway and all of his friends climbed into the Hummer with him. Phil went the extra mile and drove the Hummer to a friend's house who lives a considerable distance away.

Upon returning, I knew he'd used up some fuel and again I offered to cover the expenses. Phil replied that he was glad to help and again refused the money. Phil, from our family to yours, and to inspire more good deeds of kindness in others, we thank you that you flexed your muscles of kindness by power lifting our son's birthday to a new height.

Pastor John & Melissa Miller


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