Letter to the Editor

Honoring volunteers

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dear Editor,

It truly is great to live in Southwest Nebraska.

In today's busy world people often find it easier to turn away another project or say no to one more volunteer effort due to the demands of their own personal and business life.

Two-hundred and eighty-eight local and non-local youth are lucky that several people in McCook did not turn down one more volunteer effort Saturday and the youth participated locally in an event that was supported 100 percent by volunteers.

The McCook Optimist Club has sponsored the MAC Attack Basketball tournament for more than 10 years taking over for the McCook Athletic Club around 1995. The tournament is manpower intensive and the local club began to have difficulty finding support for this program within its own ranks. It appeared that the tournament might come to an end due to the lack of a tournament director.

Again, a volunteer came forward, Greg Larson, and over the last two years more than 85 teams have visited McCook on a Saturday in January to play basketball at four sites in over 100 games. Over the tournament's 16 years it has generated thousands of dollars of support for local youth causes and 58 students have received scholarship funding to continue their educational pursuits.

As we come away from this last weekend, it is important that we make sure that thanks were given to those that helped this event stay in McCook and allowed so many youth the chance to compete against teams from towns like Yuma, Hoxie, Indianola, Lexington, Colby, North Platte, Arapahoe, Hayes Center, Benkelman, Hershey, Oberlin, Cambridge, and McCook. The coaches from these towns demonstrate the same commitment to their community by helping with their teams.

This event had wonderful support from our community to include our local college with the MCC baseball team keeping score at every event, the MCC men's basketball team hosting the college site, and local youth programs covering the concession stands. Our tournament director, Greg Larson, gave a tremendous amount of time and made sure that the MAC Attack still existed for the youth of Southwest Nebraska.

It should give all of us a little bit of pride to live in an area where volunteers will come forward for the benefit of our youth. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States was quoted as saying, "No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor is given by what he gave." The McCook Optimist Club and almost 300 youth would like to offer their "honor" to all who volunteer in the name of youth.

Tom Bredvick

McCook Optimist

Member & Tournament Volunteer

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