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Thumbs column

OPINION by Melinda Gassaway, guest column | May 18, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Before getting into the gist of today's digit doings commentary, let me share a brief excerpt from Charlie Mackesy's whimsical little book, "The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse."

"I'm so small," said the mole.

"Yes, said the boy, "but you make a huge difference."

That said, here is a "Thumbs-up" to the welcome news that The Caring Place of Hot Springs Inc. has reopened and looks forward to again providing adult day care services for persons with dementia and being a respite center for their families and caregivers.

Closed in 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Caring Place began its mission in 1992 at First United Methodist Church and has assisted hundreds of participants through socialization programs, fun activities, nutritious meals, and interaction with dedicated interfaith volunteers.

Many thanks to the center's staff, board of directors, ex officio team, community supporters, business and nonprofit partners for ensuring that Hot Springs residents have such a vital and compassionate resource.

Speaking of something to celebrate, another "Thumbs-up" goes out to The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet that recognizes the many "doers and givers" who make the Spa City so special.

Held this year on May 5 at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort Event Center, the banquet spotlighted the contributions of businesses, organizations, and individuals who are committed to the growth and betterment of the place we are proud to call home.

Congratulations to the honorees whose good works do make a difference to so many.

We also say "Thumbs-up" to the Garland County Election Commission members and the diligent poll workers who strive very hard to make the voting process a positive experience for everyone who turns out to cast his or her ballot.

As is the case with any critical undertaking, we appreciate the astute manner in which the commissioners and poll location men and women handle what must be a myriad of questions in the early voting days leading up to the May 24 primaries.

And kudos to the commissioners and others who responded quickly after last Saturday's major power outage that temporarily affected the Hot Springs Mall voting site.

On the sports front, here is a big "Thumbs-up" to the Arkansas Razorbacks softball team that last Saturday won the SEC Tournament championship in Gainesville, Fla.

Top-seeded and No. 4 Arkansas (44-9) bested No. 24 Missouri, 4-0, to win its first SEC Tournament title in program history. Coach Courtney Deifel's team also won the SEC's regular season title.

Arkansas will now host the Fayetteville Regional of the NCAA Softball Tournament at Bogle Park and play Princeton University (27-15-2) at 5 p.m. on Friday. Other teams in the regional are Wichita State and Oregon.

Meanwhile, here's a "Thumbs-up" to Hot Springs World Class High School senior Marlissa Archie, who hopes to work on creating a more equitable justice system. Archie will be a Yale student this fall after receiving a full scholarship from the university and having been offered more than $4.5 million in collective scholarship funds from 16 of the best colleges and universities in the country.

"We wish you all the best, Marlissa."

Conversely, a Hot Springs resident who recently was downtown for Art Walk, has a "Thumbs-down" to the few "irresponsible" dog owners who forgot to clean up after their pets.

Via an email to the hometown newspaper, she commented, "You had to watch where you stepped while walking on the sidewalks."

The Thumbs Column appears in The Sentinel-Record on 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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