Letters (Feb. 22, 2012)

Grant will support more improvements

The Hillsboro Playground Committee would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to the Hillsboro Community Founda?tion for the $1,750 grant recently awarded to our group.

This generous addition to our fundraising will help us add a new handicap-accessible swing and surrounding mulch to our city park. We appreciate all of the community support on this project and thank everyone who made this grant funding possible.

We believe in the power of play for our children and are pleased that the foundation supports us in our endeavors.

Members of the committee are Shelly Padgett, Becky Suderman, Cameron Kalua, Jessey Hiebert, Shelley Plett, Emily Dalke, Melissa Batterton and Doug Sisk, city liaison.

Shelley Plett

Hillsboro Playground Committee

Funds for FACT will help families in need

Families And Communities Together Inc., a local, independent non-profit organization that serves all of Marion County, was recently included among the recipients of 2012 Hillsboro Area Impact Fund grants through the Hillsboro Community Founda?tion.

The funding for our organization will be used to assist financially challenged families who live in USD 410 to pay bills for services necessary for their children?s safety and wellness.

To be included among the worthy projects funded by the HCF Impact Fund is an honor. Each awarded project is a demonstration of love and commitment to the Hillsboro area and the people who live here.

The FACT Inc. staff and executive board are grateful to the founders of HCF and to the current board of directors for their vision, leadership and investment in children and families.

Linda Ogden, director

Tamara Hinerman, treasurer

FACT Inc.

Center grateful for HCF grant award

Hillsboro Senior Center would like to thank the Hillsboro Community Foundation for its continued support of our Senior Citizens. We are extremely pleased that HCF chooses to support us in such a generous way with our service to the Hillsboro community.

With declining revenue, aging facilities and equipment, it is increasingly difficult to fund the continued services that Hills?boro Senior Center pioneered in the U.S. 50 years ago. Last month Hillsboro Senior Center provided about 90 meals per day, up from 60 at the same time last year. This included preparing meals for the Goessel Senior Center, which recently closed.

These meals include those that are delivered to seniors who are homebound, but with a little help, including meals, they are able to remain in their homes and continue paying taxes within our community, thereby supporting our community.

HSC provides nutritious meals using menus developed by the Manhattan Area Agency on Aging, our state parent organization. HSC provides weekly programs for seniors in the areas of nutrition education, health and welfare education and recreational activities. We have a number of men who gather daily to shoot a little pool and even have a tournament or two during the year.

HSC is a place where seniors and community may come together for social activities and friendship with each other.

With changing times, maintaining our facilities while trying to increase our services is increasingly difficult. We will continue to face challenges in the near future. So far prices for our meals remain at $2.75 for those who are 60 or over. Those under 60 may join us for $4.50.

The monies received for the food all goes to the Manhattan Area Agency on Aging. They provide the food to us at no cost and pay our cooks and site director slightly more than minimum wage.

It is with the help of the benefactors who provide funds for the Hillsboro Community Foundation that we are able to do a little extra to try and improve our facilities and services while expenses continue to climb.

Thanks again to the Hillsboro Community Foundation for its generous support of the Hillsboro Senior Center in its efforts to provide a place for our seniors and community to come together for the benefit of Hillsboro and Marion County.

Charles D. Rempel, board chair

Hillsboro Senior Center

Grant will help keep kids safe during play

The Hillsboro Recreation Commission and I would like to thank the Hillsboro Community Foundation for awarding the HRC with a $1,000 grant.

This money will be used to purchase catchers gear for our summer baseball and softball programs and help ensure the safety of our participants.

It also allows the HRC to continue to provide this activity without passing the cost along to the youth. Thank-you again for your support.

Doug Sisk, rec director

Hillsboro

Bill is about parents making the choice

I would like to clarify some issues with a past article, ?House bill would relax immunization standards? (Feb. 1 issue). This was a skewed article filled with many unsubstantiated or false statements.

First, the House Bill 2094, supported by Kansans for Vaccine Rights, is not a bill designed solely as an exemption for parents to not immunize their children. This bill was born out of the concept that parents should have a legal right to choose what they want to do with their children in terms of vaccines.

This group is not an anti-vaccine group. There are supporters of this bill who fully vaccinate their children according to the standard practice.

Other supporters may only choose some of the vaccinations, others may choose to fully vaccinate, but using a different schedule. Then there are those who don?t vaccinate at all.

According to the website kansansforvaccinerights.com, those supporters of the bill are ?working together to promote and protect the right of every person to make informed independent vaccination decisions.?

Second, the article said the website claimed the religious exemption was unconstitutional. Actually, the website was quoting court cases where the wording of the religious exemption was declared unconstitutional in Arkansas, Maryland, Massachu?setts, Mississippi and New York. Other states have since changed the wording in their exemption laws, possibly due to these cases.

Next, Rep. Brenda Landwehr voiced mythical concerns about the diseases and vaccines. She said, ?I have not been supportive of this (bill) in the past because, frankly, I?m old enough to remember polio.?

According to a government website (cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/polio/dis-faqs.htm), between 1980 and 1999 there were 162 cases of polio in the United States. An incredible 154 of those cases were a result of the vaccine.

On a different page of the same website are government facts that state that ?Approxi?mately 95 percent of persons affected with polio will have no symptoms. About 4-8 percent…have minor symptoms?. Fewer than 1 percent of polio cases result in permanent paralysis of the limbs.?

Currently, 19 states (representing about 48 percent of the U.S. population) have conscientious/philosophical exemptions. Using information from the CDC and state health departments, we can see there is no increase in the diseases because of the broader exemption law.

Passing this bill will not put the public at risk. Landwehr is turning this bill into an anti-vaccine issue. The real issue here is parental rights.

Michelle Ponce, executive director of the Kansas Associa?tion of Local Health Depart?ments, had a concern that some parents might just sign a paper instead of getting the vaccines because that was simpler. This statement is based on nothing but speculation and insinuates that parents who don?t vaccinate their children are just too lazy to do so.

Meanwhile, actual statistics rebut this. Of those previously stated 19 states that have the philosophical/conscientious exemption, statistically their exemption rates have not risen. Once again, past statistics prove to us that parents will not be swarming to lazily fill out an exemption form and this bill does not put the public at any extra risk.

In summary, House Bill 2094 is a step in the direction of giving parents their legal right to decide what medical interventions the state can force on their children. Since there are risks to the vaccines (though they may be rare), it should be the parents? informed decision.

Past court cases have documented the importance and protection of the rights of parents. Whether or not I decide to vaccinate, I want to be the one to make that decision, not the state. That is what House Bill 2094 would allow me to do.

Kevin and Cameron Kalua

Hillsboro

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