To the editor:
Growing up in a small community, I was able to see firsthand the willingness of neighbors to help neighbors. I am now in a different community with different neighbors and my heart is full to think that things haven't changed.
I can't express how grateful I am for the overwhelming response received for the Elmer Tice benefit.
Tice was an employee of the Ohio Department of Transportation with me and so many other co-workers who have worked toward the benefit for our friend.
Tice was diagnosed with a diabetic ulcer on one of his toes. Gangrene set in, causing his first amputation. This did not cure the problem, leading to a second toe to be amputated, still with negative results. Just this past week, he went through his third surgery, which took most of his foot.
Some people question the need for this benefit, stating that Tice worked for the state and, therefore, has great benefits. I can sadly reply that he did not. While I drove a bus for the Edison Local School District I had better benefits than I do now working for the state. Having to retire without having his papers filed the required number of days prior to his retirement date, he suffered a lapse of income and benefits. With that in mind, we started planning a spaghetti dinner benefit for him.
Many doors, private homes and businesses were knocked upon with a positive response, with many just asking what we needed being only too eager to help. Individuals took time and money from their lives to help where needed. Businesses donated items to be auctioned and items to be used for the dinner itself. Some just gave money to be used where it was needed. So many times on my ride home, I would say, "Thank you, Lord, for such generous people."
To all who helped in any way with the dinner, know that because of you this dinner is possible. I can't thank you enough.
If anyone would still like to help, you can attend our benefit dinner from noon to 4 p.m. today at the Stratton Municipal Building. A little from everyone makes something huge happen. We hope to see everyone at today's benefit.