McCook's Merry Christmas present to itself

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Congratulations, good people of McCook. You've done it again!

Missy Nelson called Tuesday to announce that the Share-a-Seat campaign goal has been reached. During a whirlwind two-month drive, enough cash, grants and commitments were received to purchase 534 stadium-type seats for the McCook Memorial Auditorium.

"The seats have been ordered," Missy said. "They will arrive the first week of January."

That's welcome news because it means the seats can be installed before the Jan. 20-21 Women's Conference. That event, which will be staged at the auditorium, is hosted by the Evangelical Free Church. Although usually held at the church, a larger venue was needed because of this year's expected attendance, but the wooden benches in the auditorium balcony were seen as less than ideal.

Finally -- after much discussion -- the campaign began in late August and early September. But it wasn't until Heritage Days that the drive shifted into high gear. Inspired by early gifts from families and organizations, the community responded with a widespread show of generosity, pushing the total given and pledged to above $45,000.

"Often when a campaign achieves success, you will hear people say, 'I can't believe it,'" Missy said. "But, you know what, I can believe it. Early on in the drive, when gifts were coming in slowly, I knew in my heart it would happen because I know the people of McCook. When there's a good cause, they come through. It's overwhelming. We are blessed to have such a great, giving community."

Missy said the drive has taught her a lot about courage. "I used to think courage was strong people doing brave things. But I've learned that overcoming fear has a lot to do with courage. If you don't step out, if you don't go all-out for a cause, you'll never know what can be accomplished."

How true that is. Missy and the women of the E Free Church stepped out. The community responded. As a result, the McCook Memorial Auditorium will receive much needed comfortable seating.

It's such an appropriate gift, especially at Christmas time, vividly illustrating the community's spirit of caring and sharing. Congratulations, McCook. Once again, you have risen to the challenge of supporting a community cause.

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