March 03, 2010 Edition

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Triumph and
inspiration

John Bland
Publisher

We add our congratulations to two of the deserving recipients of the "Triumph of the Human Spirit" award, Carrie Mae Snapp of Walnut Ridge and Raul Blasini of Pocahontas. They both continue to give unselfishly of themselves, while overcoming their own difficulties and challenges.

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The Lawrence County Circle of Friends organization continues year after year to be one of the top Circle of Friends organizations in the state to raise money for Arkansas Children's Hospital. They have a tradition and winning formula that works. One of their most successful fund-raisers is Tips for Tots, which raised $37,000 this year for ACH. That annual event was held Saturday night at the Walnut Ridge Country Club.

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We are a little sad at my house that the 2010 Winter Olympics have ended. We had not realized that many of the Winter Olympic competitions are extremely risky. Part of the attraction of watching was to see who would make it through their event without a slip or fall, such as in figure skating or racing, or who would crash and tumble in such events as snowboarding, skiing or the half pipe.

The Canadians did show a good sense of humor and a lot of national pride throughout the event. They made fun of their own mistakes, such as the mechanical failure in the opening ceremonies. The Vancouver area is obviously a beautiful place, and the televised scenic shots of the city and surrounding area will draw people to visit that area for years to come.

A favorite part of the Olympics was the personal stories of some of the Olympians, including their adversities and successes. Guidepost magazine had recently featured a story on Kris Freeman, a severe diabetic from New Hampshire. Freeman, a cross-country skier, has shattered the belief that someone with his condition could compete in such a long-distance event. He did not medal at the Olympics but is still an inspiration.

Probably the most touching story of the Olympics was that of Canadian Joannie Rochette, who won a bronze medal in women's figure skating in front of her home crowd. Her mother died suddenly of a heart attack during the games, but Joannie went on to compete and medal in honor of her mother. Even the announcers had trouble maintaining their composure during and after her performance.

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