2009-06-20 / Viewpoints

Letters to the Editor

Help 'To Fill A Backpack'

To the editor:

"To Fill A Backpack" program has opened for the upcoming school year. We're seeking donations from Austin, Coudersport, Eldred, Galeton, Port Allegany, Roulette, Shinglehouse and Smethport.

Donations can be made in the form of money to buy supplies to fill the backpacks or in the form of supplies such as pens, pencils, notebook filler paper, pencil erasers, three-ring binders, rulers, etc. There is a complete list of suggested items on our website tofillabackpack.org or you can call at (814) 544-8032 for more information.

A lot of help will be needed this year and we are hoping everyone will get involved and help a child in need. Donations can be sent to: Fill A Backpack, 81 Burleson Avenue, Roulette PA 16746.

The program filled and distributed more than 250 backpacks last school year. We are hoping to help more children in more areas this year. Last year's donations were collected and distributed in about three weeks' time. Due to the ability to get started with the drive earlier this year, we hope to be able to reach out farther.

Recipients are students in elementary or high school who are in need of a backpack. There aren't any forms to be filled out and we don't require a name (unless it is needed for backpack delivery).

We do ask that you only request a backpack if it is needed -- not because it is there. We need to be sure that all children that do need the backpacks are able to get them.

Backpacks will be distributed at the end of July. If you will be in need of a backpack please call (814) 544-8032 to put your name on the list. Calls will be taken between the hours of 10 am and 8 pm, Monday through Friday.

If someone is unavailable to answer your call, please leave a message with your name, phone number and other pertinent information.

Andy Kulp Jr.

Roulette

Cancer Survivors: Please Join Us!

To the editor:

This is a personal invitation to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer and all caregivers.

In honor of your battle against cancer, we extend a special invitation to you. Your strength and courage are a personal testimony of the progress we're making in our fight.

One person, hand in hand with another, can make a difference.

Your presence at the Potter County Relay for Life on Friday, June 26, will help to show our hundreds of team captains and volunteers that their hard work and dedication are for an amazing cause: life.

You are our reason to celebrate. Please join us in our celebration by participating in your Survivor Ceremony and Victory Lap.

Here's the schedule: 5 pm, Opening Ceremonies; 6 pm, Survivor and Caregiver Registration and Reception; 7 pm, Survivor and Caregiver Recognition; 8 pm, "Miss Relay" Contest; 9 pm, Luminaria.

To register, call 274-7397 or 1-800-227-5445, option 3

Together we will continue to fight cancer. Remember, you were the warrior, you were the winner, now you are a survivor.

If you or a loved one is ever in need of cancer information or would like to access one of our services, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS- 2345 to speak with a cancer information specialist or visit our website at cancer.org. The money that the Relay for Life events raise allows us to keep fighting against this disease while providing services locally.

Lora A. Cope

American Cancer Society

Cancer Control Specialist

Potter, Cameron, Elk & McKean Units

Beware Of Harmful Lawn Chemicals

To the editor:

Parents, beware. What you don't know could hurt you.

Our children, who are far more vulnerable to toxins, are at significant risk of chronic exposure to chemicals applied to lawns, parks, and schoolyards. Their toxins are linked with many serious diseases and side effects: cancer, miscarriages, genetic damage, problems for newborns, skin tumors, thyroid damage, ADD, reduced fertility, skin and eye irritation, asthma, anemia, nausea, sore throat, headache, lethargy, nose bleeds and dizziness.

These lawn chemicals are commonly tracked into the home, where they build up in carpeting. They include weed killers, including Roundup, Weed B Gone, and Weed and Feed.

Homeowners spray and apply these chemicals where we walk and our children play: yards, parks, sidewalks, and streets. Isn't it time for all of us to switch to safe alternatives? Visit pesticide.org to learn more.

Misinformation is being perpetuated. Roundup is harmful to the soil. It contaminates water. And it does not break down quickly. Like radioactive substances, Roundup has a half-life, persisting in soil for years.

Homeowners, please consider maintaining your lawn using chemical-free, low-maintenance methods as described in books such as, "The Organic Lawn Care Manual."

It's our choice: use safe alternatives or continue endangering ourselves, our children and the environment.

Casey Bazewick Anacortes, Wash.

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