Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 12, 2013

As area high school and college football season cranks up, the term “kick off” has much more significance for the 2013 Rowan County United Way campaign. Meeting the health and human service needs of our Rowan County citizens is the ultimate goal of our 15 non-profit member agencies. By working together and collaborating, services can be provided more effectively and efficiently in maximizing resources. Many people may not even realize how their lives and that of their families and friends are or have been positively impacted by the United Way agencies, services and support systems.
The 2013 campaign theme “Raised Here … Stays Here” reflects the campaign’s commitment to seeing that an accountable, responsible management system assures that all funds and expenditures are audited and utilized to enhance the quality of life in Rowan County.
Many people who were previously donors are now receiving United Way services as a result of our unstable economy and many unforeseeable circumstances. Each agency provides vital services such as crime prevention, dropout prevention and academic support, income tax preparation for seniors and helping individuals with developmental disabilities develop marketable employment skills as well as life skills training.
United Way also provides a wide range of community development services such as information and referral, “Day of Caring,” “Service Above Self” and Initiative grants. These services benefit many people in the community. Many programs go beyond the agencies themselves to directly help many of our citizens in need. Whatever the need or emergency, our local United Way agencies have been prepared to swing into action and provide immediate help and support. United Way provides a safety net for those most vulnerable, even in good times.
So whether you are a donor, volunteer, advocate or recipient of services, please give generously of your time and money as it is truly needed and sincerely appreciated.
— Wilson Cherry


Cherry is special projects coordinator for Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc., a United Way agency.

For the past several years I have seen the notice about the 9/11 memorial service and just “didn’t bother” to go. This morning I did attend and was appalled at the pitiful number of community people who came out to honor our heros, both past and present. It was a short but moving service during which leaders recognized those who gave their lives on 9/11 and in more recent events, particularly local individuals who died in the line of duty.
The service was also a good opportunity for all of us to honor and to thank those in fire, police and emergency services who stand ready to do what is needed to protect the rest of us. I regret my past failure to be there but my calendar is already marked for next year — maybe a few hundred of you can be encouraged to do the same.
— John Whitfield


A hero is someone who goes out of their way to save someone else’s life while disregarding risks to their own.
A hero doesn’t stop to think of the consequences. He or she just goes with the flow.
Many people see police officers, paramedics and firefighters as heroes. But what they forget is that while those people are saving lives, the one who is not being recognized as a hero is not wearing a badge or a uniform. The bravest act of heroism in the United States occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, when the men and women of Flight 93 banded together to save our Capitol. Many lives were lost that day. It was assumed that one man made one last call to his wife to say goodbye, and then proceeded to rush the hijackers.
Now what is your definition of a hero?
— Allen M. Shorey


Regarding Mark Wineka’s Sept. 8 article about Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen:
Mr. Wineka stated “But Hurricane Katrina in 2005 wrecked Cohen’s singing career. …” Actually, the devastation to New Orleans and the 9th Ward, where she lived, was caused by failure of the federal flood projection. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been mandated by Congress to provide flood protection for New Orleans. What the corps built was poorly planned, constructed and maintained. What happened to Pat Cohen and New Orleans was a manmade disaster.
— Elizabeth Reed

New Orleans