Voices From The Readers

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Suggestion For Berlin
Editor:
I really enjoyed ringing in the new year in Berlin, but I have an idea to make the ball drop better.

In my opinion (and others around town), the actual ball is a little, well, not so great. I think it would be a great contest for local schools in the area to design and create a new ball. I am sure that there are many students that could come up with a great design to really wow the crowd.

Laura Mazza
Ocean Pines

Overwhelmed By Support
Editor:

The outpouring of support the community and friends have given to us during this very hard time is overwhelming to say the least. We are so grateful for so many people that organized, worked and participated in all the events.

Charles (Jeffrey) Keenan was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September of 2011. He has been going through chemotherapy since the middle of October and will continue treatment through March of 2012. When he was first diagnosed, it was such a shock, we thought it had to be a mistake.

It took almost nine months to rule out everything else. Most people don’t assume the worst, but we were glad to know what we were dealing with and wanted to get him started on a treatment plan as soon as possible. The prognosis of this disease is very positive but is a process to go through. He had no insurance and we just couldn’t imagine what we were going to do.

Keen Insurance has also worked very hard to get Jeffrey some kind of insurance and with their hard work and determination they made it happen. All the bills up to that date Jeffrey is still responsible for. All of the funds raised have been put into “The Charles Keenan Relief Fund.” After all his bills have been paid, we would like to keep the money locally if any is available.

Another article of thank you will follow soon to let everyone know the sponsors and those who worked and organized these events. We don’t want to leave anyone out because everyone’s involvement is so very important to us.

Life is sometimes not what you’ve planned, but it can be a bump in the road if you take each experience and grow and learn from it. Our family has done a lot of growing and has been very humbled by all the help and prayers we’ve received. We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The Keenan Family
Berlin

Say “No” To Smoking
Editor:

I enjoyed reading in last week’s edition about the "cigarette initiative".  Seeing is believing for sure, and when Mr. Steimer from the Surfrider Foundation showed Mayor Meehan all of the multi thousand cigarette butts the proof was there. People are using them for sure.

I think this concept is a good one. Encouraging smokers to politely step back and puff away if they must. I can only hope as well that this baby step in beefing up "no smoking" in Ocean City is one of many to follow in the future.

There is still the problem of smokers who continue to senselessly discard cigarette butts wherever they happen to finish their butts. I am a city resident and I live on a numbered street in the mid-town area and have written on this topic as recently as Sept. 2, 2011. I am 44 years of age and smoked myself for a number of years before I eventually stopped, so I know how difficult it is to quit.

As a neighborhood activist for better terms, I continue to volunteer my time year round to help keep my immediate area that I call home, sweeping up litter in the street, around my building and the parking lot surrounding the building that I live in. I have to say that by far, most of what I continue to sweep up is cigarette butts from smokers that have been carelessly been tossed to the ground and then blown into or down the street only to lay there until they are either cleaned up, or swept away somewhere else such as a storm drain.

Somehow I just don’t believe that anything will really take care of the problem or even "dent" the problem until the city just decides to say "no" to smoking, period.  In the meantime, I just continue to take care of my neighborhood the best that I can.  People will continue to come with their cigarettes and my dust pan and broom will continue to get their exercise as well.

Doug Antos
Ocean City

Dinner A Success
Editor:

The Noel Community extends a thank you to places of worship, individuals, businesses, and civic groups for the overwhelming support for our 14th Annual Christmas Dinner.

We are especially grateful to Father David Dingwall and St. Paul’s by-the Sea for hosting the dinner; to Deacon Carl Mosley for his constant spiritual leadership; to the many businesses and civic groups for supplying food, making generous monetary donations, and sponsoring toy, toiletry, and food drives; to the local media for publicizing our event; to all the individuals and churches for donating toys, food, desserts, toiletries and monetary gifts; and to everyone for volunteering their time.
The Noel Community served over 1,300 free meals on Christmas, including carry-outs and deliveries to individuals who otherwise would be lonely or hungry. We provided toys, toiletries, hats, and clothing. We prepared hot meals for police officers, fire personnel and other public servants working on Christmas day. The Noel Community appreciates the generous support from Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Berlin, Bishopville, Selbyville, Fenwick and surrounding neighborhoods allowing us to make the Christmas celebration special for many in our community. 
Noel Community will continue to expand our outreach serving free breakfast and carryout lunch at a local food pantry with the leftover supplies and funds. Your generosity allowed the Noel Community volunteers to prepare breakfast and/or lunch every Saturday and seven additional weekdays, providing 6,300 meals/sandwiches in 2011. These meals are needed and appreciated by those we serve. Thanks to your support, we are able to assist individuals and families in meaningful ways.
The Noel Committee

Ocean City

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