Hart Beat

Thank you Sunnyside for stepping up

If I were able to bestow sainthood onto people who go above and beyond the call of duty I'd save the biggest crowns for Carol Stone and Greg Schlieve of Sunnyside. Oh yes, and for Kathy Corliss, my fellow Sunnyside Lions Club members and my co-workers at the Daily Sun News. Why? Because without their encouragement and support, this year's "Back to the Country" Fourth of July fireworks display, set for Sunday night at the Sunnyside High School Clem Senn football field, might not be happening.

I'd also save stars in heaven for those people who demonstrated their support by generously dropping their spare change in the numerous "Sunnyside Community Fireworks Display" donation glass jars which have been located on Sunnyside business counters during the past two months.

From the more than 24 jars sitting on counters at restaurants, city hall, banks, local taverns and even at the local schools, more than $700 was collected to be used toward providing the community with an awesome fireworks display.

In addition to those funds, this year's fireworks fund received a major contribution of $2,000 from the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce to jump start the fund-raising campaign.

But I believe it was through the weekly visits from Stone that the money in the jars continued to increase and for that I thank her so much. I know we wouldn't have even come close to collecting the that much money without her timely and gentle nudges.

In addition, Schlieve and I and my fellow Lions Club members encouraged the Sunnyside VFW, AmVets and their respective auxiliaries to join forces to host a seafood dinner which netted another $613 for the fund.

Schlieve, who has become something of an expert at writing convincing letters for fund-raisers, encouraged Sunnyside volunteer firemen, Sunnyside pioneers, Sunnyside American Legion, Kiwanis and Soroptimists groups to donate an additional $1,320 to the patriotic cause. By mid-June we realized we were going to raise more than the extra $2,000 we needed to put on the $4,000 community Fourth of July pyrotechnic display.

What I didn't expect was the wholehearted support my co-workers brought to the fund-raising effort. Led by the newspaper's production manager, Kim Taylor Morris, and reporter Elena Olmstead, our DSN crew pooled their talents to bake, sew, paint and cook items for two very successful "Red White and Blue" crafts and bake sales. That effort alone, with an extra donation by Daily Sun News Publisher Tim Graff, added more than $270 to the cause.

Then came the last minute, but equally appreciated donation to the community fireworks fund by Sunnyside's two Red Hat Society chapters, bringing the total fireworks campaign to well over $5,000.

I can't begin to explain how excited I am to be able to tell Daily Sun News readers that we now have a nice little nest egg to begin next year's fireworks campaign.

Thank you, one and all for all of your support and to my committee for its encouragement and support.

I encourage each of you to enjoy all of this weekend's Fourth of July activities, from the Come Back to the Country Soapbox Derby races and family fun scheduled in Sunnyside's Central Park on Saturday, scheduled from noon to 5 p.m., to Sunday evening's pyrotechnic display. Come inside the football field for the best seats at the Sunnyside VFW and Lions Club-hosted patriotic program, beginning at 7 p.m. Take time to enjoy pre-show music and ice cream at a Fourth of July social being hosted across the street at the Christian Reformed Church, which will be followed by fireworks at dusk.

Have a great Fourth of July - I certainly plan to, thanks to all of you.

. Julia Hart can be contacted at

(509) 837-4500, or you can e-mail her at jhart@eaglenewspapers.com


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