Updated: January 13, 2013 6:21AM
After being on vacation for a week, I’ve compiled a running list of news items, updates and opinions on recent happenings. Here is a sampling.
Another Christmas season, another act of selfless generosity.
For the fourth straight year, a Hobart couple has contacted me to help locate a handful of region families that can use a financial boost during the holidays.
This year, just like last year, the couple has earmarked $2,000 to donate anonymously to individuals or families in need. The couple again asked me to serve as an elf of sorts, and I’m honored to play the role.
On the downside of their amazing gesture, regardless who we choose to help there are always critics of those recipients. This, however, is nothing new when it comes to helping those in need, according to several social service agency officials who do this on a daily basis.
“There will always be someone who is unhappy with your choice,” explained one director of a not-for-profit agency that provides year-round aid to families.
“I have learned the long and hard way in charity work that you can’t help everyone,” added Christine B., secretary for Region 2 ABATE, which hosts an annual Christmas party to help needy families.
Fortunately, I rely on social service agencies such as the Salvation Army, as well as church pastors, to help locate people who are truly in need. Then I discuss those potential candidates with the Hobart couple and we go from there.
Stay tuned for an update near Christmas on how this all turns out.
Today’s numerically intriguing date — 12-12-12 — is garnering a lot of media attention and maybe it should since it is the last repetitive date EVER. But does it really mean anything?
Is it the beginning of the end? A statistical symbol of some kind? Or simply, as I believe, just an interesting cluster of similar numbers on our calendar?
“This is the last time we can have the month, day and year as the same number in our lifetime,” said George Rogge, who lives in the Miller section of Gary.
On 10-10-10, Rogge and his friends held a party to honor that unique date. Last year, on 11-11-11, they met again for the same reason.
Today, Rogge and friends invited a collection of region writers to meet again for a once-in-a-lifetime party to celebrate, explore and examine the “relevance” of 12-12-12. I say it’s the perfect opportunity for all of us to take a glance back and a peek ahead in our lives.
Someday, we may be asked by our kids or grandkids what we did on today’s special date. We shouldn’t be forced to reply, “nothing special,” “went to work” or “I don’t remember.”
Kudos to Rogge and friends, and others like them, who are making an effort to capture this date — through thoughtful examination — in their collective memories.
On a more personal note, today’s date is very special for Christopher Edward French who turns, what else, 12 today.
The sixth-grade honor student at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy in Gary will celebrate his 12th birthday with 11 friends at Zao Island in Valparaiso, says his mother, Crystal Williams-French.
The only thing to top it off, I say, would be something special planned for just after noon today, at 12:12 p.m. (and 12 seconds) on 12-12-12. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Hot dog stand closed?
Like many readers, I too misunderstood the ongoing ad and coupon offer in the P-T for Chuck Wheeler’s Hot Dog Stand.
“The Village Hot Dog Stand — NEW LOCATION,” the ad states, noting it’s now in the food court of Westfield Southlake Mall in Hobart. For a brief time, I wrongly thought that its original stand, on Grant Street in Gary, was closed after decades of business there.
I was wrong, and so were many other readers, I’m told by the stand’s owner, Garry Vajda.
“They are not noticing that we made reference to visit the original location in the Village Shopping Center on the bottom of the ad,” he told me when I contacted him.
Oh. So it’s not the death of a region landmark, huh? OK, let it be duly noted here.
‘Dear Santa’ letters wanted
For an upcoming column, I’m looking for heartfelt, insightful and possibly inspirational “Dear Santa” letters written by young children. The timeless holiday tradition of asking Kris Kringle for Christmas gifts is taking a timely twist this year, which I will explain in a future column.
Feel free to send me your kids’ letters via snail mail, e-mail, or fax (648-3232). And thank you in advance.
Listen to Jerry’s “Casual Fridays” radio show each Friday at noon on WLPR, 89.1-FM, streaming at www.thelakeshorefm.com.