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Program success benefits many

What ensures the success and stability of a community? One might list a number of assets, such as commitment, hard work and action.

On Saturday, Aug. 10, there was such an example of the strength and success within our Sauk Valley community. It took just a few phone calls and emails, and an idea was born that would have a lasting impression on a nonprofit organization and five schools.

This day brought together the Building Lasting Impressions that Never Die (BLIND) programs from Dixon, Newman, Rock Falls, Morrison and Fulton high schools. Students, faculty and administration leaders worked a car wash to benefit Home of Hope Cancer Wellness Center. A few hours raised funds and awareness for Home of Hope services. These young people were energetic, friendly and hardworking. 

Home of Hope was not the only organization that benefited. Groups also worked at St. Vincent de Paul’s, Touch A Truck, YMCA, Happy Tails and Imagination Station. These groups of youth are the leaders present in our schools and in our communities. BLIND is a solid, positive program, and I am thankful that Home of Hope was included in the service project activity. 

Thank you to Pete Harkness and Kristina for hosting and preparing the three sites, to the adult BLIND leaders who are such positive mentors for the students, and last but not least, to the students who worked so hard. The dirty cars left clean, and the patrons were offered information about a vital organization that serves those touched by cancer.  

To the school administrators, thank you for keeping this program going. Bringing area schools together with a focus on peer acceptance, service to community and ending stereotype labeling is key to future success in our community.

Note to readers: Joan Padilla is the executive director of Home of Hope Cancer Wellness Center.

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