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Compass Point 4.5.2006

By Al Campbell

Compass 4.05.06 al
This is a test Headline
Ideas are fleeting things.  Some fly, and rightly so, others fail.
 In the last two editions, we have explored two notions that are aimed at young people who may not be blessed with abundant financial resources.
 The first came from George DeLollis, Middle Township Board of Education member. His idea to the board: Should the district start a program to collect unwanted musical instruments, and make them available to youngsters, particularly minorities, whose families may not have the money to afford them?
 That’s one great idea. Two readers contacted me saying they had such unused instruments, and were eager to donate to the program. It proves DeLollis was right. There are folks ready to donate to help young musicians; all they need is a drop off location.
 The second great idea was posed by Jean Everly of North Cape May regarding her “Fairy Godmother” program to collect prom gowns for young women who may not be able to afford such luxury items.
 One can only hope that both these seed programs find fertile ground in which to grow.
 I discussed DeLollis’ idea with daughter Lisa, a graduate flutist of Middle Township’s music program.
 She reminded me that having instruments available is one thing; wanting to play is quite another. She was quick to point out, that desire to play means the need to practice every day. That takes discipline, especially when the weather is nice, and friends call to play. A young musician puts aside all else to play scales and selected pieces.
 We’ll assume there is needed “fire in the belly” of Middle Township’s young musicians who may be the beneficiaries of donated musical instruments.
Kudos for pitching the idea.
 Proms, deemed a milestone in the social life of high school students, always had an expense attached. In recent years, prom costs have soared to unimaginable heights. They are staged in ornate hotels and country clubs with lavish banquets.
 It is not out of the realm of possibility the prom couple spent $1,000 or more when limousines, flowers, photos, attire, and prom keys are tallied.
 Gone are the days when proms were held in a school gym, and themes were guarded with more care than gold at Forth Knox.
 Therefore, it’s quite understandable that many families in Cape May County have daughters who just may not be able to afford that evening of splendor.
 Everly, through the “Fairy Godmother Program” she has seen work elsewhere, is attempting to bring some joy to young women who need help. She can’t do it alone, and donations won’t cost anything.
Kudos, too, for that idea.
DeLollis and Everly deserve support, since their ideas will assist young people who, if they want to reach for it, can get something that may not otherwise be possible.
Right here in Cape May County, many folks’ needs aren’t being adequately filled, although some do what they can to help.
 One helping program, in particular, is the United Way’s Wildwood food bank.
 Linked with First Baptist Church of Wildwood, the agency has expanded its hot lunch program into a weekly endeavor.
 Every Thursday, people who need a hot meal and perhaps clothing, are welcomed to the church. There, community groups are pitching in, once a month, to buy, prepare and serve lunch to people who desperately need it. Free clothing is there for the taking.
 United Way Executive Director Suzanne Nardi works with those folks, knows many on a first-name basis, and feels their angst.
 For the most part they are not lazy, she said. Many work, but do not make enough to pay bills and eat. What’s wrong there?
 Regardless, if they are hungry and in need, they are welcome.
 In such an uncertain world, who knows? Each of us could find ourselves in similar circumstances in the blink of an eye.
 Great ideas need support. If you are blessed with abundance, think about helping our neighbors in need. Remember, “What goes around comes around.”

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