Fundraisers bring benefits of unity to our community 6/18/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fundraisers bring benefits of unity to our community

Ricky Swindle
Guest Columnist

Benefits. How do I get myself into so many benefits ? My wife has a easy answer to that question.

“Ricky does not know how to tell people ‘no’,” she says.

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That’s true to some degree but I have my own reasons.

Ten years ago my brother Mike, only sibling I have, broke his neck in a freak fall. He was paralyzed and in horrific pain. After some doing and some red tape being bypassed with the help of a couple of  individuals in our community, my brother had surgery in Jackson and was on his way to recovery.

Mike had four kids at home who still had to have things even though their Daddy couldn’t work. He still had a mortgage to be met and payments and obligations to be made. We as a family pitched in every way we could.

Then, the good folks at The First United Pentecostal Church in Batesville offered to do a benefit for Mike. It took some coaxing on the part of several people to talk him into the idea.
See, we were raised to work for everything. We were not raised to ask anyone for anything. After several attempts, he finally agreed.

The money those fine folks raised for Mike was indeed handy. He paid his mortgage and a few more bills up for a year. But the money was just a drop in the bucket compared to the feeling Mike and our whole little family received just to see all these hard working good people who came out to support him.

To say the least, we were overwhelmed, flattered and humbled.

That’s what hooked me. That feeling. One of the many things we were all taught as children and what we have strived to teach our children…The Golden Rule…better to give than receive.
I enjoy the benefits that I have time to help with. You see my name out there a lot but that’s not just me. It takes a group of dedicated people who are willing to work hard, beginning to end. I don’t start or organize benefits, I just try to do a part in the ones I can. Time will not allow me to participate in all of them. I’m a Civitan, Mason and Shriner. I have a radio show on Saturday mornings and, believe it or not, I do have a business to run so I can meet my own obligations as a husband and father.  

We are fortunate to live in such a great community that cares about the people in it. We are a unique place to live. We have people who are paid to market our area to attract business and industry. These new companies speculating on coming here need to be made aware that the absolute best people that will be found anywhere are right here. We believe in helping each other. Our greatest asset in our community is our people.

I was asked by several young people if I would assist them in a benefit for Will Lawrence who was seriously injured in an accident recently. I’ve known Will all his life. This Lawrence Family is no stranger to helping out anyone they are asked to. Proven fact. I told these young adults the ins and outs. I explained to them how a benefit takes dedicated people to work. First meeting there were 21 there to help. Second meeting there were 50.

These young folks are working hard. For ninety percent of them, it’s their first time to help in any benefit. They are getting it done. I’m proud of them all.

I think we as parents have done a good job raising our kids. That Golden Rule we have taught them is now coming in effect. They are realizing that it is indeed better to give than receive. This thing has turned into a lot more than just raising money for Will. Our young people are making a major move here. They are coming outside of their box. They are realizing that this community is going to depend on them. They all are gaining the same feeling I acquired 10 years ago. I see the future of this community. The future is bright. We’ve raised some fine young’uns.

The Benefit for Will Lawrence will be June 22 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Batesville Lions Club. Plan to attend if you can. Auction will begin at 7.  If you can’t come, then say a prayer for Will. He’s got a long road ahead of him.