Letters to the Editor for May 7th, 2008

Dear Editor,

I am an elementary school inclusion teacher in Shelby County, and I accompanied three athletes from my school to the Shelby County Special Olympics on April 25.

I am still on an emotional high because of what that day provided for the athletes, family members, spectators, teachers, staff, business sponsors and volunteers. I have never felt such thrill at any athletic event than I did on that day!

First, we were greeted in the gym with wonderful music, banners from each school participating, colorful balloons galore and speeches from dignitaries. There was also an impressive honor guard, cheers from the Thompson High cheerleading squad and an amazing rhythm dance group from Oak Mountain Middle/High Schools.

Then we took part in a parade with crowds cheering us on, on both sides, as we marched out to the track and field.

Everyone was pumped up for the games to begin. The mascots from each school were mingling with the athletes and spectators throughout the day. Floppy, the clown, was making awesome balloons from butterflies to footballs for all.

The athletes were excited and the feeling was contagious and electric. Multiple events took place with my students participating in the softball throw, 100-meter race/walk, and the 50-meter dash. My students were so pleased to earn ribbons and be called up to receive them on podiums with cameras flashing and everyone clapping. We were even given a 30-balloon banner to bring back to school and share with our classes.

I know this is a day that I will remember and cherish, thanks to the great athletes, volunteers, sponsors and Shelby County Schools.

Deborah Levine

Greystone

Dear Editor,

Two weeks ago I opened up my Reporter and found a very interesting article in the business section. The article was titled, &8220;Calera Chamber mixes and mingles.&8221;

Not only did it talk about the fact that the Chamber meets at the winery, it showed us a picture of them drinking. The following statement was made: &8220;There&8217;s something about food and wine that makes people talkative.&8221; I would like to be the one to inform you that it is not food that makes people talkative &045;&045; it is alcohol.

As a pediatric nurse I could tell you many stories about the damage I have seen from alcohol.

Having seen many alcoholics trying to recover in Overcomers meetings, I feel that alcohol is one of the hardest addictions to battle because it is everywhere. Attending the funeral of an alcoholic made me realize what a battle it really is.

We, as a society, will sell you alcohol and even drink it with you. However, when you wake up one day and realize that you have crossed the line from use to abuse, then you will have a battle on your hands that you will face the rest of your life.

And, society, as you read in the paper this week, will kick you in the dirt for trying to attend drug court, and have very little mercy for you.

Many of those in drug court started with the &8220;gateway drug,&8221; which is alcohol.

I remain strong in my conviction that there is nothing good about alcohol. So why do it? I don&8217;t have it in my home and teach my children that it is something you can live without.

I encourage the Shelby County Reporter to write about things that encourage our youth. How can we tell them to not drink when they see adults drinking and laughing in the paper?

I wonder how many drinks were distributed that night and did those Chamber members drive home?

Yes, you can get drunk from wine.

After reading a response online about drug court, I would like to encourage people to be careful who you judge.

The Bible tells us in Corinthians 10:12: &8220;Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.&8221;

Be careful who you judge because you or a family member could be in drug court and you would see, first hand, that those addicts/alcoholics are people just like you and I that made bad choices.

Yes, it is possible that those in drug court could make another mistake and need another chance. I am thankful that my Savior, Jesus Christ, gives me and you more than one chance.

Beth G. Winterbottom

Calera