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There's Something Good Here

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There’s something good here . . .
    I’ve worked at the News-Telegram for more than seven years and am constantly amazed at the goodness that lies at the heart of Hopkins County.

    Two sons decide to honor their mother for teaching them the value of reading. They place a Little Free Library on the square in her memory. You know she’s looking down on it with such pride.
    A young girl helps the homeless by collecting jeans.
    Recognizing a need, a church group organizes to feed the homeless each week.
    Food pantries open up all over the county to meet the growing needs of its people.
    Groups raise funds for their friends who are facing incredible medical battles.
    There’s been a recent uptick in road races to raise money for good causes. Glad to see so many families hitting the pavement for their favorite charity.
    Volunteer chairpersons and their committees work tirelessly so the annual Lights of Life Gala  can meet its goals.
    The annual United Way campaign surpasses its goal, which allows charitable organizations to offer more much-needed help.
    Parents of special needs children organize a baseball league designed to let every single player experience the thrill of victory. Sulphur Springs Independent School District students flood the field as “buddies” for the athletes. Everyone wins.
    Honoring those who are battling cancer along with those who won or lost the fight, Relay for Life teams compete each year to raise funds and awareness.     
    Drive by the square almost any time of day or night and you’ll find someone visiting the Veterans Memorial. It really is one of the best I’ve seen.
    Kids collect pennies for charitable projects.
    Children tell their parents to forego birthday presents and ask for contributions/gifts for their chosen cause.      Art lovers band together to create a clearinghouse for all things artistic. Everyone’s on the same page, working to coordinate beautiful and educational events throughout the year. After all, Sulphur Springs is the city of “celebrations.”
    Each year, hundreds of students gather to hear professional musicians play classical music. Think about that for a moment. Our kids get to hear a real symphony perform. For free.
    That same symphony plays on the square every July to celebrate our independence. And, it doesn’t cost us a dime.
    Twice a year, we are blessed by gifted singers who give up their Monday evenings to practice.

What other town/county our size has a choral society and a symphony?
    Several organizations agree to underwrite the cost of bringing The Dallas Opera to our junior high students. The singers and TDO officials from last year said they had never received such a warm welcome. They’re coming back this year. When I visited with TDO’s new music director Emmanuel Villaume last fall, he he had already heard about the Sulphur Springs visit.
    Theater thrives in Hopkins County, too. Nothing beats a live performance.
    Sulphur Springs ISD has a flourishing fine arts department. Kudos to the school board trustees for recognizing how important the arts are to a well-rounded education. It would be hard to find better staff to guide our kids.
    And, thanks to the trustees for updating the culinary arts area. Hopefully, we’ll see some of our graduates on the Food Network in the future or we’ll have a chance to taste their food in a local restaurant.
    Our public library has come a long way since a change in leadership in 2012. The staff welcomes input and delights in bringing new programs to its patrons.     
    So, when you’re tired of the bad news, take a look in your back yard and be grateful for the good people of Hopkins County who go the extra mile to HELP, proving that some four-letter words can evoke positive, long-lasting results. 

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