Thumbs-up: To local DeKalb County 4-H Fair and Illinois State Fair participants. Youth who raised animals over the past year displayed the culmination to their efforts last weekend with the animal shows and auction at the 24th annual DeKalb County 4-H Fair. At the state fair, Bailey Hunt, 16, of Sycamore, and his trio of chickens again won the grand champion poultry contest and will be able to auction them in the Governor’s Sale of Champions. We tip our hats to youth who are expanding their agricultural knowledge through such hands-on projects. Congratulations.
Thumbs-up: To bringing a frequently-shunned topic into the light. When someone commits suicide, many families feel a certain stigma along with the pain and shock of the loss, so the subject doesn’t always get the attention it needs. The friends and family of Seth Bartosik, who lost his life to suicide in June, are honoring his memory this weekend with a fun, large-scale event – the Sethtastic Scavenger Hunt, coordinated through Facebook. They hope the participants will have fun going on the kind of adventure Bartosik enjoyed, but they also want to bring public attention to the impact of suicide on the people left behind, and to support Suicide Prevention Services.
Thumbs-down: To less help for those in need. This week, the Voluntary Action Center announced it would discontinue its community dinners program, citing funding declines. The program began with the help of federal economic stimulus funding in 2009, and continued with local sponsorships, feeding an average of 85 people each time. Although it is regrettable the program has come to an end, at least it was there for people during what were some of the toughest economic times seen in decades. The VAC, along with help from local sponsors, has continued its Meals On Wheels program, along with other core activities.
Thumbs-up: To Walgreens Co.’s decision this week to keep its headquarters in Deerfield, rather than using its acquisition of a Swiss company as a pretext to relocate overseas. Now politicians in Washington need to fix the tax code that makes this option seem attractive to U.S. companies in the first place.
Thumbs-up: To helping local families with school supplies. On Tuesday, the DeKalb Salvation Army distributed 550 backpacks filled with school supplies to local children in need. The cost of sending children back to school seems to rise every year, and not all local families are able to keep up. Thanks to those who help provide a hand, such as The Salvation Army, more local students will enter the year with the supplies they need to learn.