25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion Letters

“WOW!” What a happy evening spent with Dorothy and her lovable friends on the yellow brick road last Saturday! Thank you to Scotty Corbin for starting Overlook Theatre Company, to all the local folks who design, stage and act in these amazing “good-as-broadway” performances; to the Drakes for providing a professional facility and to sponsors who support the productions.

What a wonderful opportunity for children to learn acting skills on a professional stage, for hometown people to share their talents in scripting, painting, costumes, stage design, music etc., all providing uplifting entertainment for us regulars. Gosh, we’ll probably lose some of these actors and stage hands to Broadway if this keeps up. But in the meantime, we are lucky in Franklin to have such talented people doing such good works.

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National Philanthropy Day is Nov. 15, and I’ve been thinking lately about that universal spirit of generosity that prompts us to help others.

On a national scale, Americans gave $3.3 billion in charitable gifts in 2010, even in this tough economy. On a local level, too, as the Foundation Director at Murphy Medical Center, I see examples of generosity every day right here at home.

Our incredible volunteers donating over 10,000 hours per year to help us with our important work for the community. A concerned citizen walking through the door with a cash donation to help us fight breast cancer. Hundreds of people turning out to participate in a fundraiser.

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Watching the GOP debates and the candidates reminds me of how bad this country has fallen in its leadership skills.

We are seeing ideology and hypocrisy when we desperately need competency and democracy.

Bush and the GOP gave us two unfunded wars that have cost us over $1.5 trillion. The wars make money for the rich and made graves and hardships for our military families.

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YOU could be a G.A.L.! “ What’s that?” you ask. A GAL (Guardian ad Litem) is a trained volunteer appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of an abused or neglected child. In court, the GAL serves as an important voice for the child.

Children who are abused or neglected are removed from their homes by the Department of Social Services. During the court process of finding a home (foster care, relatives, return to biological parents, placement for adoption) for these children, a GAL is paired with a court appointed attorney to seek the best solution for the child.

As every parent knows, raising a child is difficult and stressful. During these hard economic times child abuse and neglect has increased as parents stressed out over the loss of jobs and income sometimes take out their frustrations on their children. In one recent study in 74 counties in four states child abuse increased by 65 percent.

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