Editorial: Vance County welcomes assistance

Oct. 25, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

The government shutdown and the sluggish economy are overwhelming citizens in Vance County. And the John William Pope Foundation heard the plea.

Their gifts to three entities here this past week are a welcome relief. The sum was $35,000, and that’s going to go a long way at Area Christians Together in Service, Life Line Outreach and the United Way.

Including the gifts to Wake County agencies, the Pope Foundation handed out $185,000. Most were early gifts, but some — like ACTS — were first-time recipients.

The foundation’s namesake was the founder of what became Variety Wholesalers Inc., operator of Roses and Maxway stores.

• A slice of charm was taken off our dining plate when Greenway’s closed.

When we consider the totality of our community, one of the best parts is local ownership. We enjoy the chain restaurants that have made Henderson more well-rounded. There’s a variety. The food is good, the wait staff is mostly our people living here, and parking lots are often busy reflecting the activity inside.

But towns of 15,000 often are defined by downtown, or by their unique attractions. Local eateries can swell both of those categories. That makes this loss doubly tough.

Along with Carver’s just a few months ago in the summer, we’re minus two.

Our best wishes to all our local owners, whether eateries or other businesses, and we do encourage patronizing our local friends and neighbors.

• Another legacy for never giving up was provided recently in the Chicago Marathon. That’s where Venezuelan Maickel Melamed was the last finisher.

But his finish was remarkable. He’s battling muscular dystrophy. And in fact, he’s finished more than one marathon and literally climbed mountains.

Hard to believe it has been two decades since Derek Redmond’s father came out of the stands at the Barcelona Games. Redmond injured a hamstring, told those with stretchers he was going to finish, and his father helped him get there.

Redmond was given a disqualification because of the help. And Melamed may technically be “last place.”

But they are courageous examples among many for never giving up, for believing in and following through when our minds say we can.