Thanks to drill participants

To the editor:

Last Friday, an important exercise took place in our community depicting a critical incident at the high school. Even though the event was staged for practice, this scene has become a reality in other areas of our country, making drills of this nature sadly important.

Vermillion law enforcement and other emergency service agencies devoted many hours over the past year planning and coordinating this drill. As many as a dozen agencies and numerous community members also participated in the event. In addition, Sanford Medical Center, the Vermillion Fire Department and the Red Cross provided a vital service to make this drill a success.

As the emergency scene unfolded at the high school on Friday, it became a sobering depiction of a very serious event.

From my observation, I gained a renewed sense of confidence and respect in our emergency service and law enforcement personnel for their skill and professionalism in a crisis situation. I also appreciated the area volunteers who devoted their time to create this emergency scene.

Please extend my appreciation to the area agencies and dedicated individuals who devote many hours in an effort to keep our students and staff safe.

Mark Froke


Vermillion School District<</I>P> Put a dent in he organ shortage

To the editor:

The generosity of live organ donors like Jim Abbott is remarkable. But we wouldn't need many live organ donors if Americans weren't burying or cremating 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There is a better way to put a big dent in the organ shortage � if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ-allocation system fairer. About 50 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has 8,848 members, including eight members in South Dakota.

David J. Undis

Executive Director, LifeSharers

Nashville, TN

Thank you for a second chance

To the editor:

The Heartland Humane Society would like to thank all those who responded to our recent membership drive. Your donations and membership dues will help us as we work toward our ultimate goal of providing unwanted animals a second chance at life.

Your support will go toward funding a spay-neuter program, strengthening our foster care program, building a permanent shelter and educating the public on animal care issues.

If anyone would like to give a tax-deductible donation or become a member of Heartland Humane Society, go to our Web site at heartlandhumanesociety.net, call us at 664-4424 or send your donation to HHS, Box 585, Yankton, SD, 57078.

The Board of Directors,

Heartland Humane Society

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