Thursday, February 27, 2014

Taking on Cancer

Baseball vs. Cancer 2014
Cancer is one of those diseases which has touched just about everybody at one time or another, whether through a parent, a grandparent, friend, neighbor, child, niece or nephew or yourself.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Bluffton baseball players have "taken on" cancer by raising funds for childhood cancer research, then shaving their heads in the week before heading south for spring training. 

I would suspect that some do it because Coach said to, or that the team expects it, but others have more of a connection – or so I've learned through social media.

But it wasn't just the baseball guys who got involved. Math professor Dr. Darryl Nester ’88 also stepped up to the plate.

In all, more than $800 was raised in cash during the lunch-time head-shaving extravaganza from students, faculty, staff and others who attended, for a total team donation of more than $8,500.

New this year, faculty, staff, alumni and friends joined forces to crochet caps to show support for the guys.
More than 80 caps were crocheted, enough for every person who participated, with the extras going to a local hospital to be given to cancer patients.

All in all – not a bad day for Bluffton University.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thinking spring

The mammoth pile of snow at least two 'blizzards' ago.
There’s a pile of snow taking up a parking spot in the Riley Creek lot.

That’s not unusual. Every winter when the lot is plowed, snow is pushed into two huge piles, one at the back of the lot on the grass near Sauder Visual Arts Center, the other to the front of the lot at the corner of the driveway and Elm Street.

What is unusual is the size of these mammoth piles of winter’s gift to us.

We in the PR house have decided to make a game of it rather than continuing to be depressed by the sheer size of these mountains of frozen moisture. We have all selected a date when we think the blockage of vision when looking right will be completely gone. Dates range from the optimistic March 8, to the pessimistic April 7, with the realists selecting dates in between. When the snow is gone, we all go out to eat.

Let’s just say, I will gladly pitch in to buy another person’s lunch if the snow leaves us quickly… that is as long as the pile melts naturally with the warmth of the sun and sweet spring rains.

Then came yesterday, a snow day for the Bluffton village schools which warmed up nicely mid-afternoon. Do you see where this is going? Huge pile of snow, day off of school, relatively warm temperatures? I felt like that old grump resisting the urge to yell at the kids to get off that snow pile, so my chosen “melt by” date wouldn’t be in jeopardy. Others in the office were cheering the kids on knowing the snow pile needs all the help it can get to melt by March 8.

Today? Today I’m enjoying warm rays of sunshine. Walking outside without bundling up. Yes, it’s just a tease. It’s way too early for winter to be completely finished. There will be more snow.

But for today, the school kids are in school and the pile is melting naturally.

And I’m enjoying happy thoughts of spring.