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Thumbs column

Opinion by Melinda Gassaway, guest column | November 17, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

In his book, "The Faux Bishop's Gems," Hot Springs native Msgr. J. Gaston Hebert, P.A., who served the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Little Rock for 50 years, wrote the following " ... It is also possible to be overwhelmed emotionally by our problems because we lack the spirit of thanksgiving ... As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we all need to dissipate our perceived problems by counting our blessings. ... "

This Thanksgiving, let's do that and be grateful for all those individuals and organizations who make our city and county such a special place to live and work.

With those thoughts in mind, here is a "Thumbs-up" to the recent Winter Assistance Fair sponsored by St. Luke's Episcopal Church and made possible by a grant from the Hot Springs Area Community Foundation.

The fair was held in the Cupp Family Life Center at First United Methodist Church where volunteers handed out tents, sleeping bags, hats, gloves, and socks.

Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic and The Salvation Army of Hot Springs helped with the event.

By the same token, here's another "Thumbs-up" to the many ways our residents, businesses and organizations saluted the service of area veterans on Nov. 11.

And on that day, National Park College dedicated the Bob Luciew Veterans Service Center in honor of a U.S. Navy serviceman who was a long-time supporter of the college's veterans. He and his widow, June Luciew, who spoke at the dedication, created an endowment fund in 2014 and have assisted numerous NPC veteran students through "generous scholarships."

Speaking of giving an assist to learning, we send out another "Thumbs-up" to the Hot Springs Village Altrusa Club for its Dictionary Service Project whereby members delivered 228 dictionaries to all third-graders in the Jessieville, Fountain Lake, and Cutter Morning Star School Districts. The project was part of the annual nationwide celebration of "Make a Difference" through volunteerism.

According to a news release, "Third grade is the year a student makes the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. All formal education from this point through college is premised on the student being able to read and to understand what he or she reads."

Here's a "Thumbs-up" and "Thank you" to the six community leaders recently honored for their indefatigable service to area residents who benefit from their professionalism and commitment to the betterment of the institutions and agencies established to meet the public's needs.

Those recognized at the Garland County Community Honoree Banquet at Immanuel Christian Fellowship Church were: Division 1 Garland County Circuit Court Judge Ralph Ohm; Dr. Oyidie Igbokidi, interventional cardiologist; Darin Landry, Lakeside School administrator; Minnie Lennox, city of Hot Springs human resource director; Tommy Sproles, former Arkansas Game and Fish Commission member; and Lt. Dennis Overton of the Arkansas State Police.

Thanks as well to Dr. Audrey Chatman, pastor of New faith Christian Ministries, organizer of the banquet; guest speaker Tammy Stewart, the young people who did the catering, and others who assisted in lauding these six leaders.

And finally, here's a "Thumbs-up" to the many persons who continue to "Pay it forward" as a means of showing kindness to others.

On a recent Wednesday, six gal pals, five of whom are retired from The Sentinel-Record, were treated to a free breakfast, courtesy of an unknown gentleman at Greg's Rise & Dine.

Hopefully, someone who knows this individual will tell him about this upturned digit and convey the ladies' sincere "Thanks" for his generosity.

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 contact and verification purposes. This information is kept confidential.

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