Thumbs up to area foundations for all they do to help preserve the institutions and organizations that give texture to life in communities throughout the region. Most recently, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation helped pay for major repairs of the Valley Historical Society's 1845 brick museum in Sinclairville. Support beams were replaced, roof joists were reinforced, insulation was added to the attic and the electric service was updated.
We know that sometimes donors eschew brick-and-mortar projects that are unrelated to economic development. But these foundations continue to recognize the value of groups whose need for a physical presence in their communities is self-evident.
We always think of Helen Hooven Santmyer's expansive novel "... And Ladies of the Club" when we read about a group of folks getting together regularly to share their passion in a common interest. It might be a study club, a book club, an antique car group or model train enthusiasts.
Thumbs up, then, to amateur photographers who meet monthly - at 6:30 p.m. the third Tuesday - at the Farman Memorial Library in Ellington to learn from each other. While there is always an educational component stemming from a desire to better themselves or their talents or their understanding, no doubt they also simply enjoy being in the company of people who share their passion for photography.
As Ellington resident Debbie Rhinehart explains, it is educational and it's free. Everyone of like mind is welcome to attend this Tuesday's meeting. And, by the way, they have mounted an exhibit of their work. It is on display in the library's community room.
By the way, Farman Library is an example of one of those brick-and-mortar things that is well worth supporting.
Thumbs up to Ecklof Bakery owner Rick Ecklof for joining the effort to raise awareness about the need for foster parents in the Chautauqua County region. The bakery is selling heart-shaped cookies with red icing through today with proceeds to benefit GA Foster Care youth and families. More information on the need for foster parents and the local GA Family Services Therapeutic Foster Care Program is available at www.gafamilyservices.org.
And, finally, this shows you how far along in the year we are already: Today is the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive of Postal Service letter carriers. To participate you need only leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods - canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal - next to your mailbox before today's regular mail delivery. And, please, no glass containers. All of the food collected in our area will go to Joint Neighborhood Project, St. Susan's, and the Salvation Army
So thumbs up to members of the National Association of Letter Carriers, to the U.S. Postal Service and each one of you who joins in the nation's largest one-day food collection.