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Thumbs column

OPINION March 3, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

"Unity" is a vital part of the word "community" and our citizens have seen the best of both terms in recent efforts to increase the number of local COVID-19 vaccinations.

So here is a grateful "Thumbs-up" to the doctors, nurses, medical facilities, inoculators, pharmacists and pharmacies, nonprofits, volunteers, churches, businesses, suppliers, site coordinators, and public safety personnel for this massive -- and ongoing -- health initiative.

Speaking of health care, here is another well-deserved "Thumbs-up" to Hot Springs nurse Rebecca Brenneman-Hull, who recently walked 2 miles over a snowy terrain to work her shift in the Labor and Delivery Department at CHI St. Vincent.

Brenneman-Hull was accompanied on her wintry trek by husband Phillip Hull. The day before their hike to the hospital, the couple, who live in the Lake Hamilton area, packed up and moved with their two children to her sister's house in town.

"Thank you, Rebecca, for your professionalism and concern for others."

Hot Springs resident Kay Ekey sends out her thanks and a "Thumbs-up" to all of the Garland Countians who made last Saturday's Hot Springs Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Arkansas a big success, despite COVID-19 cautions significantly impacting participation.

Ekey, local event chair, wrote via email, "Their generosity allowed us to raise more than $7,000. Hot Springs Health and Fitness donated use of its pool; Hot Springs Civitan provided volunteers; Hot Springs Broadcast Network livestreamed the Plunge; and 55 folks from various groups, agencies, and schools experienced the 'Thrill of the Chill.'"

She gives special thanks to sponsors Michelle Strause and Mary and Robert Zunick, to Hot Springs Police Department SWAT, top fundraising group, collecting $1,700, and to Jesus Anaya, top individual fundraiser, collecting $1,000.

Meanwhile, another "Thumbs-up" goes to the good news about the replacement of the American and Arkansas flags recently stolen from the Veterans Memorial and Military Park of Garland County.

State Sen. Alan Clark, R-District 13, presented a new set of flags, which were flown over the state Capitol, to Jo West Taylor, chairman of the Garland County Veterans Memorial, and other members of the Garland County Veterans Memorial Committee. Due to inclement weather, the presentation was made at the Crystal Ridge Distillery.

By the same token, Dennis Hawthorne of Pearcy gives his "Thumbs-up" to "some people who make our lives better every day. "They are the carriers who deliver the newspaper, the mailman and delivery drivers who bring our mail and packages, and the sanitation workers who haul away our trash.

"We rarely say, 'Thank you,' to these people but they deserve recognition, too."

On that note, and personally speaking, here is a "Thumbs-up" to my thoughtful young neighbor, Gregory M. Armed with his trusty snow shovel and friendly smile, Gregory twice cleared the decks and steps of my condo unit and those of another resident.

"Thank you," again, Gregory, and "Happy Birthday" this Friday.

The Thumbs Column appears in The Sentinel-Record the first and third Wednesday of each month. The newspaper welcomes readers' comments and suggestions, which should be submitted in writing with a telephone number and home address for verification and contact purposes. This information. is kept confidential.

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