Hats off

Give the judges a ribbon, too

Through Friday, The Advertiser-Tribune has published four full pages of results from Seneca County Fair judging. Just reading through the entire list daily can take a significant amount of time. But that’s nothing compared to the time – and effort – put into fair projects by the exhibitors.

And while we are grateful to those who compile the results and provide them to our extraordinary clerk, Bev Gabel, the rankings would not exist without careful, considerate work by the judges.

So, hats off to the judges as well as exhibitors for providing their time and talents into the various shows. That’s a large part of what makes it a county fair.

Thanks for organizing the events of summer

While the 171st Seneca County Fair reaches a climax this weekend, it’s a proper time to reflect on the annual event as well as all the other entertaining activities that fill the summer calendar. The lawn socials, parish fests, firefighter festivals, poker runs, bicycle tours and 5K run/walks all have several things in common.

For one, they offer fun, recreational activities to residents and visitors alike. Second, they raise funds for churches, fire districts, charities and sports teams, while giving folks something do to in return. Third, they typically involve a group of volunteers who lend their time and effort to helping worthy causes.

People who direct and manage these volunteers usually contribute words of appreciation in our weekly Bouquets forum, expressing gratitude for everyone who supports their activities. We think it’s appropriate also to tip our cap to them for guiding events which fill our summertime with pleasure, amusement and enjoyment.

Hats off

AAA presents CinemaDrive

Hats off to AAA, popularly known as American Automobile Association, for literally showing teenagers the dangers of unnecessary risks while driving.

AAA presented “CinemaDrive” Monday to attendees of Ohio Teen Institute Leadership on the Heidelberg University campus. The program is an interactive, educational pilot program for young drivers that addresses drunk driving, texting while driving, fatigue, speeding, seat belts and peer pressure.

All of those factors contribute to the fact auto accidents are the No. 1 killer of teenagers. AAA sponsors CinemaDrive through Cinema Park of North Carolina; we hope the program if found to be effective at helping teens make better decisions while driving.

Hats off

Many offered help after the storm

A tip of a sweat-brimmed cap goes to Mayor Aaron Montz, Tiffin Community YMCA, Bodyworks Fitness & Tanning, Java House and the American Red Cross for offering assistance in the wake of Wednesday’s storm.

The YMCA and Bodyworks offered free showers and a chance to charge cell phone or other gadgets. Java House provided free coffee and the chance to recharge phones and devices for those without power.

Montz made an executive decision to have city workers pick up limbs and trees if left at the curb through next Friday.

The Red Cross planned to distribute flood clean-up kits Friday at locations in Tiffin, Carey and Upper Sandusky. The Red Cross also aided families who were displaced by the storm.

Then, there are friends, family members and neighbors who reached out to help people in our area get their lives and properties back in order following the wind and rain.

All deserve our thanks.

Hats off

Thank you, firefighters

“We’re devastated. We just lost 19 of the finest people you’ll ever meet.”

Those were the words of Prescott, Ariz., Fire Department Chief Dan Fraijo on the loss of the elite wildfire crew Sunday while fighting a 2,000-acre blaze near Prescott.

He was speaking of men, with an average age of 27, claimed by the fire in the largest loss of firefighters in a single day since 343 firefighters lost their lives Sept. 11, 2001, in New York.

Their deaths follow within several weeks the loss of four Houston firefighters in a hotel fire May 31, and six in a plant blast at West, Texas, in April.

Firefighters were hailed as heroes, saluted and honored across the nation after Sept. 11. They still are the same kinds of people they were on that day, and before.

Firefighters run toward the burning building or smoldering forest or bad accident when the rest would run away. Firefighters simply are wired differently in terms of what they will do in service for their communities, their neighbors and total strangers.

Firefighters are in all of our communities. Generally, they love fun, but when they’re called out, there are few who are more focused and more professional.

Firefighters are, as one person describing the elite Prescott Green Mountain Hotshots team said this past week, tough as nails but nice.

Say a prayer today for those lost firefighters, and one more of thanks for the ones who are in our midst, in our communities, ready to go when the alarm rings.