Time to bring out pom poms

Sports writers are supposed to be neutral observers who stick to the facts and don’t get emotionally involved in the stories they cover.

I’ve tried to do that ever since I started in the newspaper business 38 years ago.

So excuse me today if I betray some professional ethics and temporarily become a cheerleader that is indeed proud of his team.

In this case, my team is our community.

Yes, like every other town, we have our problems. Some woes many other cities share, others that are unique to us.

But the great thing is we never lose our sense of community. We’re always trying to make it better.

Take, for example, all of the good things that took place last week.

Start on Monday, when the Kids Classic fundraising golf tournament was conducted at the Parkersburg Country Club.

Thanks to a sellout field and several large donations, the event raised a record $176,000 to support the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg, which provides a safe haven for our youth. A?place where they can go and enjoy a free meal, work on their studies and share play time with their friends.

Flash forward to Thursday. University of Akron football coach Terry Bowden comes to town to assist the Allohak Council of the Boy Scouts of America with its annual fundraising drive by serving as the guest speaker for its Leadership Dinner.

At the end of the night, local scout leaders announce that dinner participants, combined with those from the community who donated funds, have raised in excess of $100,000 to support the local scouting community.

I don’t need to tell you about or sell on you the many benefits of scouting, which teaches boys how to become good citizens and to perform good deeds that benefit others.

We also learned that former West Virginia University of Parkersburg president Eldon Miller -who passed away a year ago -had bequeathed approximately $1 million to the school.

Not many people are in a position to do that and a large majority of those that are keep their fortunate financial situation within their family, which certainly is their perogative.

But we need to take the time to thank and honor men like Miller who remember their roots and use their resources to make this a better place to live.

It seems appropriate that coach Bowden came to town and talked to both the members of the Parkersburg High School football team and to those who attended the Leadership Dinner about making a difference and maximizing your potential so that you can do so.

We live in a society where “me” comes first and all others come last. It’s easy to be self-centered and to ignore local causes and issues in need simply by taking the attitude “that’s not my problem.”

Which makes you part of the problem. Thankfully, we have enough people who want to be part of the solution.

They are the ones we should be celebrating today, with our applause and more importantly with our heartfelt thanks.

Contact Dave Poe at dpoe@newsandsentinel.com