COLUMN: Our caring community

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We live in a caring community. That was evident Jan. 26 as a I left the Perry County 4-H fairgrounds carrying a pair of to-go chicken dinners. That day’s benefit for Zach Taylor drew hundreds of people to raise money for a young man and volunteer firefighter who is battling cancer.

There was good food – I snagged two of the last dinners available – and there were tables stacked with baked goods and an auction of donated items. I had to work that evening but was lucky enough to bid by phone on the item I most wanted, a locally made Schwab filing cabinet.

I know Zach and his family and they and their supporters were overwhelmed by the support. Fighting cancer is a battle no one should go through alone. The turnout that day for the benefit showed the number of people who care for Zach and the emotional boost for him was as important as the money raised to cover expenses. He still faces many weeks of treatments.

Perry Countians have long been generous with their time and money. The annual drive to help provide Christmas gifts of toys and clothing to children touched more than 600 kids this year.

As the letters to the editor on this page point out, our friends and neighbors, as well as strangers, respond in times of need. Similar to the event for Zach, I saw that last year in the fundraiser at the fairgrounds for young cancer patients from our county and the one held a couple of years ago for Tyler Zoglman.

Small town America is know for its generosity and there are so many examples of how that happens on a daily basis. Zach’s father is a firefighter, as was his grandfather. Those folks respond around the clock, every day of the year. They are volunteers. They also roll when there are serious accidents and they help out with community events, health fairs, Relay for Life and parades.

Farmers help one another when one of their own is sick and needs help planting or harvesting a crop.

Every day, shut-ins and the homebound are visited by neighbors and fellow church members.

Scouts work for their communities, as do women who belong to sororities, fraternities and other groups.

As we all know, we don’t know when we will need help from others. To all those who help others by donating time or money or talent, thank you. Your generosity helps make Perry County a better place to live.

Fly Me to the Moon

Couples and singles looking for a good time should make reservations now for the sixth annual benefit gala Feb. 23 supporting the Perry County Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Held at the Schergens Center, the event begins with a 6:30 p.m. social hour and dinner at 7 catered by James Rash of the Carriage Inn restaurant. Dancing will follow until 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 each and can be reserved by calling 547-0153.

Reservations are due by noon Friday.