A good community can#039;t be beaten

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2007

Community is a good thing. As much as some would like to believe they can do it all on their own, in truth, we can all use a helping hand. Not only do many hands make light work; they also can make the whole process more enjoyable.  Whether it's joyful occasions or somber ones, the strength of community enhances our lives.

As a nation, we witnessed that in the terrible aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre. Students and faculty stood together, held each other, comforted one another and chanted their battle cry &#8220Hokies” with spirit and determination. They uplifted one another and they inspired us to look beyond the horror, suffering and pain and see something good to come out of it all.

I do believe something good and right and positive can come out of a negative situation - a valuable lesson learned, a relationship grown stronger, a community recognizing what is most important in life.

I have seen it right here in our community. This past weekend, 23 ladies, ages ten to &#8220I'm not telling,” came forward to sacrifice the tresses they had been growing for a year.

I should mention this: women have a special bond with their hair. Men may cheerfully shave their heads and not think twice, but most females looked on with amazement and distaste when a troubled Britney Spears grabbed a pair of electric clippers and took every hair on her head off.

Picking a hairdresser can be almost as stressful as choosing a dentist or doctor.  Our hair is important to us.

But these women chose to grow their tresses for a year and then have it cut off in front of a couple of hundred people because of community.

They donated their ponytails to help someone out there who was losing their hair involuntarily - someone suffering from cancer.

Those donated ponytails are going to make custom-fitted wigs for little girls and ladies of all ages who have lost their own &#8220crowning glory” - wigs that would normally cost in the neighborhood of $5,000.

The donors will likely never meet the person their hair is going to help.

It doesn't matter, because they all know folks who have fallen victim to the curse that is cancer - parents, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, best friends, co-workers, neighbors, classmates. We are all part of that sad community.

Cancer is an ugly, insidious thing. But it brought something beautiful to Confederate Park Saturday night.

It brought spirit, determination and a coming together to fight a common foe.

To all these truly beautiful women and girls who participated in the event, God bless you and thank you for providing me and many others with such an inspirational evening. And many thanks to all those who have donated, or will donate, to the monies raised in Butler County in the continued fight against this disease. See you at Relay!

n n n

Wow, spring is really getting' busy! Almost the end of April and that means - drumroll, please - &#8220Puttin' On the Ritz” arrives this weekend.

Folks, you need to see this show. Here are some reasons why:

n You will get to see people you encounter in local offices, classrooms, courtrooms and businesses in a totally different light.  Remember - Mac Russell, yodeling and buck dancing. Father Fred Lindstrom, pounding on those drums. Elnoria Grayson of the Butler

County Activity

Center in exotic costume, singing of the pleasures of &#8220Bali Hai.” And so much more.

n New to town? Then this show is a great way to get introduced to the perhaps little-known talents of some of Greenville's best and brightest.

Believe me, you don't know have to know these people to be entertained by this show. And this production will make you want to get to know them!

n The costumes alone are worth the price of admission. And I haven't even hinted at some of the most fantastic ones. You're just going to have to buy a ticket and come - so there.

n A lot of time, effort and talent has gone into this. Show your appreciation by turning out this weekend!

n Last, but certainly not least, you will be supporting the arts in the community.

Proceeds from the tickets sales (aside from the 20 percent that goes back to the city) will help fund the Greenville Area Arts Council's next sensational season.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.