Letters to the editor for May 16, 2007:

Dear Editor,

May 11th was Provider Appreciation Day.

Not many people know what that means, or why some Child Care Providers close for the day.

It&8217;s a day to show a true appreciation for your Child Care Provider, for all the things they do. They provide a safe happy loving environment for you to leave your child while you go to work to make a living for your family.

They provide breakfast, lunch, snack and some even serve supper. They help your child with table manners. They help your child to learn social skills. They help when your child is ready to potty train.

They sing the silliest songs to make your child laugh so they can lose that shell and can be part of the group. They work with your child to help them learn how to walk, know their colors, how to hold and use a pencil, to put their shoes on, but mostly, to try to prepare them for school.Then they cry when your child leaves and goes to school, because they have grown to truly love the children they keep.

They have training in CPR, first aid, childhood development, quality child care and licensing, health and safety, universal precautions, the child care professional and the family, language development, and positive discipline and guidance. They are required to have all of these just to maintain their license so they may do this type of work.

But this is the job, career, or life they choose because they love children.

So during the week of May 11, if you didn&8217;t take a moment to show your appreciation for your special Child Care Provider, there is still time. As they all will be celebrating at the Providers Appreciation Banquet Saturday May 19, at 7 p.m. at the Fish Market on U.S. 280.

Sue Wells

Columbiana

Dear Editor,

Your May 1 article &8220;Local Children Get Taste of Western Rodeo&8221; is a sad commentary and highlights that children are taught indifference and cruelty.

I assure you that 5-year-old Emma has been taught and been praised for the cruelty and indifference it takes to wrestle and force a young goat to the ground.

If little Emma was not taught this cruelty, she&8217;d likely have loved to pet and appreciate the goat. As our world turns increasingly violent, why do we still think it&8217;s entertaining to torture and cause fear in others?

Maybe one day the &8220;cowboys&8221; and &8220;cowgirls&8221; will learn that all animals (including humans) feel pain and want to be treated with kindness and respect. I hope everyone realizes kindness is an American value &045;&045; one we need to see more often.

Deniz Bolbol

Redwood City, Calif.

Dear Editor,

The family of Dennis J. Horton would like to express our sincere appreciation for the support we received during the time of our loss.

Our thanks to Dr. Patricia Patterson, St. Vincent Hospital, and the New Beacon Hospice staff. Our special thanks for the outpour of love and concern from our family, friends and neighbors in the Summer Hill community.

We thank Bro. Wayne Horton and everyone at Prospect Baptist Church. Also everyone at Summer Hill Baptist Church, Mike Gannon, Isom Dawson, Pam Loyd and all the wonderful ladies who took extra care of us.

We also thank First Baptist Church of Columbiana, the Sunday school classes and everyone at New Bethesda Church. Our long time and dear friends, Mr. Clarence Baugn and everyone at Elastic Corp. of America. For my employers for having compassion for their employees and family and helping us through the many struggles of the past few years.

Our hearts will always hold special thoughts and memories of Cory Foster, Ryals Sinquefield, Jerry Sturm, John Loyd, Frank Peoples, Jimmy Wallace and our little sweetheart, Lindsey Sports.

We also want to thank the senior class of 2007 at Shelby County High School, Elvin Hill Elementary and the teachers and parents who go the extra mile to make a difference in a child&8217;s life.

We thank the friends and employers of the Shelby County Court House and clerks office. We thank you for the food, flowers, prayers and donations.

We give thanks to each and every one for every way you did to comfort each one of us. We will always hold you dear in our hearts and you will never be forgotten.

We love you all.

Laura Horton and family

Columbiana

Dear Editor,

Nearly 10 years ago when I first became the volunteer coordinator for the Special Olympics Track and Field games in Mobile County, I was desperately seeking help in staging our annual Track and Field games.

We usually average around 250 young athletes; it is a huge undertaking. Someone recommended I call a group from Shelby County known as the &8220;Wolfpack.&8221;

These young students volunteer their time and energy to help counties all over Alabama stage their Special Olympics events. The students volunteer their time. They willingly give up vacations and school breaks to help our special athletes.

Our association with the Wolfpack has been one of the most rewarding experiences we have had in Special Olympics. This group of young people epitomizes everything that is good about today&8217;s youth. They are willing, tireless, lovin, respectful and professional in their staging duties. We have become very found of them and their leader, Jim Barnes.

Our Special Olympics committee wishes to thank the faculty and administrators of the Shelby County schools these students attend for helping develop such model young people and for making the adjustments at school which are needed to allow students to travel across the state. We, in Mobile County, truly could not have our games without the Wolfpack!

Debra Garlo

Fairhop