I clicked the heels of my ruby red slippers together three times and said, "There's no place like home."
Growing up, I was sure I wouldn't call Hilsboro my home when I was an adult. In high school, I used to cringe when people would ask me if I was going to come back and work at the newspaper someday. Absolutely not, was always my quick response.
But after living in other parts of the country, and even the world, I came home more than ten years ago and never looked back.
Kyle and I attended the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce annual dinner on Thursday night, and I have to say it was an inspiring evening. As the presenters talked about the business award winners for the year, it got me thinking about Hillsboro. There are more than enough people to say that it's not the community it once was. This business is gone, the schools aren't as big as they used to be.
Let's face it, some of those things are true. But that doesn't mean there's not hope for the present and the future of our community and our county. As I listened to the award winners talking about their businesses and why they picked Hillsboro as its home, I couldn't help but think there are still so many great things to come for all of Montgomery County.
Because of those who continue to volunteer their time, hard work and dedication, there are countless great organizations that make this area great. Groups like the Montgomery County Cancer Association, local veterans groups, churches, 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and so many more that are always looking for ways to make the place we call home even better.
And you know the best part, it only takes a little time and effort to make a big difference. When everyone works together, donating a little time and money here and there, the impact that it makes will outlive all of us.
Take A Grace Filled Journey. When Grace was first diagnosed with INAD, people from all over the county asked what they could do to help. Initially, we turned all the offers down and said that Grace was well taken care of, but we appreciated their kind thoughts and prayers. Then we found out about a very promising research study at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Since January, this community and beyond has helped to raise more than $60,000 for the study in Grace's name.
And while that's a huge amount of money for this study, it's been done just a little bit at a time. Penny wars, bake sales, benefit ball games are just a few of the dozens of events that have helped to raise the money. In the end, it all adds up to make a huge impact in the lives of those kids with INAD. We are forever grateful to each and every person who has donated his or her time and money to make such a big difference.
Time and time again, this county finds a way to believe in itself and believe in others. Just this past weekend, more than a dozen volunteers donated their time and elbow grease to do some clean-up work at the Broad Street Grill to help the owners get it back up and running after a fire. Volunteers brought mops and brooms to help with the clean-up work, and while there is still lots to be done, those hard working volunteers helped make a huge dent in the overall project.
I think that's what inspired me the most at the dinner the other night. By ourselves, it seems insurmountable to make Montgomery County a better place to call home. However, if each of us donates our time and our talents, together, we will make a big impact in the future of the place we all call home.