Letters to the editor — Saturday (9-13-14)
Thank you Chickweed
Have you heard of Chickweed? If not, let me tell you about an event that took place on July 19 at the Spoken Space Theatre off Lee Street. What an unbelievable night of music, art and dance, all “Celebrating Indestructible Women” for the benefit of Family Crisis Council Battered Women’s Shelter, a United Way Agency. This year was the third annual Chickweed fundraiser that encompassed almost 500 people that were not hindered by the rain or the extremely hot temperatures. “Chickweed” is an annual benefit founded by an amazing and talented woman, Sue McHugh. She and her other talented friends got together three years ago and decided to promote a cause that would help the many battered and abused women and children of Rowan County. What a wonderful thought for “indestructible women” to assist other women and their children that have been abused to have a safe haven to rest, recover and get the necessary assistance to empower them to begin a new life and become survivors instead of victims.
Family Crisis Council staff, board of directors, and the many volunteers would like to thank the many loving and talented ladies, gentlemen, children and sponsors that participated and raised over $16,000 for the Battered Women’s Shelter and the victims that use the many services provided by the Family Crisis Council of Rowan County.
Please save the date of July 18, 2015, for the fourth annual Chickweed event to be held at the Salisbury Depot. If you are interested in celebrating indestructible women and men, please contact Sue McHugh on Facebook at “Chickweed Celebrating Indestructible Women,” and assist them with their mission to help save a life.
— Renee Bradshaw
Bradshaw is executive director of the Family Crisis Council.
Community spirit alive and well at Knox Middle School
On Saturday, more than 50 volunteers came together to beautify the outdoor athletic fields at Knox Middle School. They invested more than 180 combined hours raking, cleaning, weeding, mulching and mowing, turning the football stadium and surrounding areas into a complex to be proud of.
Special thanks must go to Joe Steinman, a former Knox student and football player. Joe, a member of Boy Scout Troop 442, which meets at the First United Methodist Church, chose the beautification of the Knox athletic fields as his Eagle Scout community service project. He organized scouts from across Rowan County to assist and they willingly donated their time and labor. Joe’s workforce also assembled picnic tables from lumber donated by the Salisbury Animal Hospital. Also donating his time was the shop teacher from West Rowan High School who, along with his FFA students, cut the wood into planks making assembly of the tables an easy task for the scouts.
Thanks must also go to the members of the Knox football teams and their families who turned out in force, as did many other members of the Knox Middle School community. The hours everyone worked at our school were well spent, as together great results were achieved. People who came to our first football games Tuesday and Wednesday were able to see what volunteerism and community spirit can achieve.
— James E. Phillips
Phillips is head football coach at Knox Middle School in Salisbury.
Encourage students to eat healthier at school
With the new school year, parents’ attention is turning to school lunches.
Traditionally, USDA had used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Children consumed animal fat and sugary drinks, to the point where one-third have became overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws became lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
In recent years, several state legislatures asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options, and 64 percent of U.S. school districts now do. Moreover, hundreds of schools and school districts, including Baltimore, Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, Oakland, Philadelphia and San Diego, have implemented Meatless Mondays. A New York City school went all vegetarian last year.
Current USDA school lunch guidelines, mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, require doubling the servings of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat, and meat-free breakfast. The challenge is to get students to eat the healthier foods.
Parents should work with school cafeteria managers to encourage consumption of healthy foods. Initiatives could include student recipe or poster contests, student garden, and/or Meatless Mondays. Detailed guidance is available at www.schoolnutrition.org/schoolmeals, www.fns.usda.gov/cnd, www.pcrm.org/health/healthy-school-lunches, and www.vrg.org/family.
— Shane Papadopolous