Myakka, you made me proud last week.
No, it has nothing to do with the lack of a red light on the main drag through town, although you’ve got to love that.
Proud that Bethany Baptist Church has started a “manna ministry” with its gift of free bread and other baked goods for those in dire straits.
Proud that ground has finally been broken on that long-awaited community center on Wauchula Road.
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And proud that a community is coming together as it always does to help a neighbor in need. This time it is for Otter and Kathy Kersey, whose hearts are broken with their 18-year-old son Dylan being gravely injured in a head-on traffic crash Sept. 1.
Incredibly, Otter, a Myakka City firefighter, helped rescue his only son in the early morning darkness on State Road 70. It was so dark, the car so mangled, and Dylan so severely injured, that only later did Otter realize it was Dylan who he had helped rescue.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kerseys.
Fire Chief Danny Cacchiotti is heading up a planned benefit Sept. 23 to aid the family. We’ll share details once they are available.
Bethany Baptist’s manna ministry (see the story in the Saturday Herald) makes donated bread — and I mean a whole lot of bread — available to hard-pressed families.
There’s a hand-made sign out front of the building where the bread is stacked on tables. There are often church volunteers there to share a good word. But the building goes unlocked Tuesday through Saturday, and the bread is available with no strings attached.
I can’t help but contrast that loving ministry with the misguided preacher in Gainesville, who got all that publicity with his threats to burn Qurans.
Give me my Christianity with compassion, charity and tolerance, please.
And finally there was that ground-breaking. It was good to see Ginki Miller, who fought for a community center for years, as community center director, in attendance.
Ginki is now retired and hasn’t been in the best of health for several years. She came in a wheelchair, wearing a big smile, and stood with others, shovel in hand for the ceremony.
It was also good seeing the current community center director, Pepper Sellars, who was unafraid to mix a nice black dress with rubber boots. Practical lady. It was raining.
I had the opportunity to visit with the architect, Jonathan Park, who took plenty of time with me to explain how the center was designed.
Myakka, you’re getting a very well-planned facility that will fit right into the neighborhood and be a great asset to the community.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 745-7021.