In Focus


The small-town spirit is alive and well.

It never ceases to amaze me how the community steps up time and again to support one of their own.

Whether it’s a tragic accident, serious disease, or death, people continuously step up to support the family involved.

It doesn’t matter if it’s organizing a fundraiser, bringing over dinner or just calling to see how things are going, people are thankful for the help and concern.

We have seen how creative people became during the pandemic with drive-by birthday parades and finding ways to safely hang out from a distance or video chatting online.

The community continues to step up and show their support during the tough times.

I witnessed this as the community stepped up and honored a girl who had to miss her own graduation ceremony because of a tragic incident. It was truly inspiring. Have you ever heard of a school or a community that would set up a second graduation ceremony as a re-do to ensure one of their own, a senior, got to experience graduation and the closure of her high school career? This community did it...without hesitation.

Walking into the Bertha-Hewitt School gym last week and seeing all the people who attended the surprise re-do ceremony was heartwarming. Especially seeing the majority of the Class of 2021 return to give Julie the full graduation experience and show of support. It really shows how tight-knit the community is.

Congratulations to the Bertha-Hewitt Class of 2021! I’m proud of you and proud to be an alum of such a caring school and part of this great community. Thank you all for making this happen for such a deserving person.

And I’m proud of you, Julie. I’m so happy everyone pulled together for you and your family. Watching you grow over the years in school and as a former neighbor has been a joy. You are a kind and caring person. You push yourself and have no limits. You prove time and again you can do things others tell you that you would never be able to do. Can’t isn’t a word in your vocabulary.

To the camo-loving, big truck driving, bow hunter—I will miss seeing you in the halls, even though you won’t miss me chasing you with a camera. Congratulations and best of luck in your future endeavors!




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