Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 24, 2012

Cheers & Jeers: Nov. 24, 2012

‘Overwhelmed, comforted’ by community

Marianne (Gentry) Christie sends this Cheer:

“This is a heartfelt letter to the Kokomo community, Kokomo-Center School Corp., friends, family, students, co-workers, area school corporations and anyone who knew and loved Dick Christie:

“My entire family and I want to try to thank the many, many people who have touched our lives with flowers, food, donations, love, kind words, visiting and generally being so supportive in our recent, tragic loss of Dick.

“Kokomo-Center Schools were so generous to offer Dick’s home away from home, Memorial Gym, for the visitation and services. Kelly Miller of Ellers Mortuary said it was the only place in town to handle the crowd that came. He also said that when people were told upon arrival that there was over a two-hour wait, they just said, ‘that’s fine.’

“We as a family were overwhelmed and comforted by the long lines and wonderful outpouring of words and stories about Dick. The beautiful flowers and other memory items were such a wonderful touch.

“We will never be able to personally thank the people who came by the house and brought food, beverages, flowers and loving words. We were astounded by the donations of snacks and food during the visitation time and know that some of the local schools went together to provide those things.

“Teacher friends came to my house that evening and ran the sweeper, did laundry and made the beds! Such small but important blessings.

“This mass letter of thanks and love is the only way I could be able to reach out to probably more than 1,000 people who came to pay respects to Dick and the family. Friends of mine and the children came from Chicago, Evansville, Noblesville, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Lafayette and Montgomery, Ala.

“Kokomo High School will continue to benefit from Dick Christie even at his passing due to the generous donations made in his memory and, more importantly, his honor. We as a family are so grateful and want you all to know how meaningful your support was and continues to be to us.”


‘The roof is on’ veteran’s house

Pastor Chris Ellis of the Windfall United Methodist Church sends this Cheer:

“Recently, your paper published articles in promotion of ‘Operation: Covered by Blessings,’ a community effort to furnish a new roof on the home of Howard County’s own hero, Jason Vazquez. Jason is a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. He faithfully served our country at great cost to himself and his family. Through the help of the wonderful articles written by Megan Graham, the roof is on and interior repairs will soon be made!

“As director of this project, I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. Good people rallied immediately to see that the funding needs were met. Our goal of $4,000 was exceeded by nearly $1,000. (We had some gifts realized after the printing of Graham’s latest article which listed $200 above the goal.) All the labor was readily donated by Mike Ward and All American Roofing, who eagerly accepted the project. I can highly recommend his company not only because of his generosity but also because of his quality work.

“Many organizations came together. The D.A.V. handled the funds and contributed financially. The Kokomo Golden Corral had a special ‘give back night.’ Brian Carroll of Integrity Roofing provided assistance. Fresh Start Ministries, Dan’s Donuts and CVS employees provided food for the roofers. Touby Pike Recycling gave a generous discount on the dumpster. An anonymous supplier gave a generous discount on materials. The American Legion Riders, Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union and Byrum’s Makin’ Bacon Farms gave substantial gifts.

“Individuals from Kokomo, Sharpsville, Westfield, Russiaville, Tipton, Greentown and Logansport gave at a variety of levels, truly making this a community thank-you to a brave young man and his family. These contributors are fantastic! Any funds over the interior repairs will be given to the family as a Christmas gift.

“Above all, I want to thank Jesus Christ for his work in making all of this happen. To him belongs all glory, laud and honor.”


‘60 years of helping community’

Joni Walls of Kokomo sends this Cheer on behalf of the Del Ra Nut Club:

“On behalf of the Del Ra Nut Club, I would like to send sincere thanks to the following businesses in Kokomo for allowing our organization to sell nuts and candy and supporting the Del Ra Nut Club:

“Thanks to Kroger – Maple Crest and Kroger – Dixon Road for their hospitality, to Coca-Cola and its staff for the hospitality and the wonderful new sign they provided us, to the Hallmark Shoppe in Maplecrest and Harley-Davidson for letting us crash their open house by setting up a nut table, to Lowery Bowling Lanes for letting us share our product, to Walgreens and Sears for space in their stores, to our UAW retiree friends at Chrysler and Delco for letting us crash their dinners, and finally to all the caring and giving people at General Motors Components Holdings and Delphi for always supporting our Del Ra Nut club with their purchases.

“Our club has spent the last 60 years helping our community with donations from the sale of nuts and candy, and we continue to donate 100 percent of our profits back to 15 different non-profit organizations – all here in the Kokomo community.

“And thanks to all the people in Kokomo who have purchased our nuts and candy. You are helping us ‘pay it forward.’ Our sales end Dec. 14 this year, and you can find us at 307 E. Defenbaugh St., behind the Crisis Center.”