To the Editor:
Once again, it is the time of year to give thanks to those who have worked to improve our community by being caring and supportive with our young people. It is also with a tinge of sadness to report the passing of one of our most beloved mentors and role models, James McLaurin. Jim McLaurin could not go a week without letting us know of some idea that he had to help improve the lives and status of our young men. He had ideas about training in aviation and aeronautics for our students, and big plans for helping to raise scholarships to enable them go to school. Sadly, he passed away on May 18, and will be sorely missed by the young brothers as well as all of the mentors and our community.
But on a happier note, I would like to commend a couple of businesses and their leaders in our community who get it. First let me thank Steve Bernier and Sarah McKay of Cronig’s Market, who quietly go about the business of merchant and community builder, in a quiet and unassuming manner. Thank you Steve; after Stop and Shop stopped supporting our luncheons, you without question took up the cause and wholeheartedly supported us, even beyond our expectations. We couldn’t have been as successful without you. I also want to thank Dawn Braasch of Bunch of Grapes for her generous donation, so that our graduating seniors could receive a tangible present reflecting the culmination of the high school career. The books by Dr. Robert Stepto, “A Home Elsewhere: Reading African American Classics in the age of Obama,” were a tremendous hit with our young men who at our last luncheon for the year symbolically made that transition from boyhood to manhood. You can’t imagine how important that was and how surprised they were to have the author there to speak to them and then to autograph each copy. Thanks.
I cannot thank enough people for their outpouring of support, from the administration of the high school, Steve Nixon, our principal, to Jack O’Malley of the culinary arts program for preparing all of our wonderful meals. And thanks to all of the men from our community, namely: Eric Adams, David Araujo, Alfred Badger, Sterling Bishop, Wayne Budd, Jaye Clark, Walter Collier, Frank Daly, Curt Gear, Chris Greene, Robert Hayden, Ewell Hopkins, Keith Rawlins, and Robert Stepto who give their time freely to help our young men and to give back to the community in ways that can only make it better.
Yours for a better community.
W. Leo Frame