Between the Lines

Between the Lines by David Lias Just imagine.

Without warning, you find your home bombarded.

Your community suffers one vicious attack after another.

You wonder if the salvos will ever end.

No, I�m not thinking of Afghanistan, Israel, Baghdad or Jerusalem.

The battles were fought here, among our candidates for high political office.

We had scarcely gotten over the vile tone of the Republican gubernatorial primary last June when the U.S. Senate race between Tim Johnson and John Thune reared its ugly head.

Thank goodness the election is over. That ugly beast of a campaign has slithered away.

There is peace in the Missouri River valley once again, at least until the next election.

We�ve been forced to focus so much on what�s negative lately.

We haven�t given many of the positive things that surround us a second thought.

For a welcome change of pace, let�s take a close look at what makes Vermillion a great place to live.

Our first stop at this positive journey through our community is at the Vermillion Civic Council.

Sometimes, you hear people lament that there are limited shopping opportunities in Vermillion. The Civic Council helps fill that void.

I�ve watched as co-workers take a bit of time during their lunch hour, dash into �the Civ,� and reappear with a sweater, a pair of slacks, or a shirt that appear brand new.

The Civic Council collects hand-me-downs from throughout the community. People can drop old or ill-fitting clothes in drop boxes placed in strategic locations.

And, if they want, they can simply bring their stuff to the Civic Council located in the city�s downtown.

What is sometimes easily forgotten is the fact that the Civic Council isn�t a business, per se.

It is, according to some people, a local treasure. The Civic Council is staffed by volunteers. It�s primary mission, besides offering some fantastic bargains on used clothes, furniture and appliances, is to re-invest the money it earns back into the Vermillion community.

John Gors, president of the Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation, noted recently at the foundation�s luncheon that the Vermillion Civic Council recently presented the hospital with a very generous donation. �It allowed us to buy a very necessary piece of equipment for the hospital that will help everyone providing services to the patients and the residents,� he said. �To those of you who are not very well acquainted with the Civic Council, I think it�s maybe the best kept secret in the town of Vermillion and maybe in the state of South Dakota.

�The volunteers and the staff of that organization provide a tremendous amount of support to the community and to community activities,� Gors said. �They do it in a very low-key, quiet manner. It�s clear they are more interested in seeing the task accomplished than in receiving recognition.�

Our positive trip throughout Vermillion needs to be compressed, since my space is limited. Positive people doing good works here can easily be found at The Welcome Table, the Vermillion United Way, the Vermillion Lions Club, the local Knights of Columbus, the county�s veteran�s organizations, the Vermillion Rotary Club, the Senior Citizens Center, the Vermillion Arts Council, the local historical society and The Food Pantry. Guess what? A few local �doers of good deeds� didn�t make the list.

Don�t despair. They aren�t hard to find.

Take a good look around your community. When you locate those who are making a positive impact, be sure to make a small gesture in return.

Simply say �Thank you.�

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