Letters to the editor on blood drive, core values, Riverfest

06/17/2013 12:00 AM

06/14/2013 5:48 PM

Blood drive will make a difference

With schools out and regular donors on vacation, the summer months are a challenging time to collect enough blood donations to meet patient needs.

This spring, the Greater Wichita YMCA stepped up to the challenge to help ensure a sufficient blood supply is available. Several months ago, the YMCA set a “BHAG” (big, hairy, audacious goal) to have Y participants give back 1 million hours of community service annually by the year 2020. To kick off this initiative, a partnership was developed with the American Red Cross to host a series of eight blood drives in May and June.

Together, we set another BHAG: to collect 800 pints of blood.

We knew it would be a daunting task, but we also knew we had a reliable partner in members of the Wichita community. We collected 1,027 pints of blood, with the potential to help more than 3,000 patients. We also welcomed 414 first-time blood donors.

An event that began as a volunteer initiative blossomed into a community experience – sharing donor and recipient stories and bonding over the importance of blood donation.

Each and every donor helped change lives. Together we strengthened our community and made a remarkable difference in the lives of patients. Thank you.

TERRI DUNAWAY

CEO

Central Plains Region

American Red Cross Blood Services

DENNIS SCHOENBECK

CEO

Greater Wichita YMCA

Wichita

Core values

So, Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and other state senators approved university budget cuts they did not intend to support because they did not understand the bill they were voting on. Apart from the hypocrisy of voting for the unwanted Senate budget bill as a quid pro quo to getting a tax plan approved in the House, this shows either reckless inattention or plain incompetence at their core function – passing legislation.

Wagle boasts about tax cuts that will benefit the rich exploiters of our soft business environment at the expense of hardworking wage earners of our own community (“Kansas is on the path to prosperity,” June 9 Opinion). Kansas voted for these people in 2012. Did we also not understand what we were voting for?

Why is the compassion shown by so many good people in their support of the Lord’s Diner, Kansas Food Bank and other projects for the poor so absent from our representative government? Do we really want to attract big corporations into Kansas to siphon away profits rather than have them pay their dues to our community in support of the disadvantaged? Let’s have our core values grow out of our many places of worship and embed them into public life.

TIM MILLER

Wichita

Great festival

Last year was the first in my 45 years that I didn’t attend a single Wichita River Festival event or buy a button. What a difference a year makes. I started to get the buzz of this year’s festival when the schedule came out and I read about all the changes in The Eagle.

I am so glad the food court was back at its old location – and that NuWay was back. My son and I made a special trip to the food court for a NuWay and Pronto Pup.

The entertainment lineup was fantastic – love the Go-Go’s. And I was glad to see something worked out with the Cajun Food Fest. The Eagle’s Medallion Hunt was always a family favorite when I was growing up, and I was glad to see a single winner. And offering a children’s button was genius.

It really felt like this year’s organizers managed to recapture the excitement and the community feel of the River Festival. It’s back on my calendar of things to look forward to for summer fun. Great job.

KRISTI PARKER

Wichita

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