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Chasco parade organizers drive home wrong message

Editor: My family and I went to the Chasco Fiesta Street Parade to enjoy the day's festivities as well as to see friends in the parade. One group we were looking for was the Pasco Federated Republican Women's Club. They had ordered a professional banner and T-shirts and had spent hours decorating and building a lattice roof for the vehicle. They were entered in the parade, but to our amazement, they were not in the parade. I learned today that after waiting more than an hour in line they were told by two parade organizers in yellow T-shirts that vehicles were not allowed in the parade unless they had entertainment value or were pulling a trailer. Funny thing, the Chevy Club had cars that I see on the road regularly. Where was their entertainment value? They also had no trailers to pull. This person in a yellow T-shirt told my friend that the sponsors would not be pleased with their entry.

What a shock after the Chasco committee arranged to get inmate Bertie Higgins released from jail for the day to perform. The message that gives the people is simple. When you are famous you can be convicted of a crime, go to jail and be released to make money without offending sponsors. But honest, law-abiding citizens who put in their own money, time and effort can be removed with no recourse the day of the event. This is not what I want to teach my children, thus we will not attend the rest of the events.

Hugh Townsend, New Port Richey

River Ridge PTSA seeks more assistance

Editor: As vice president of the River Ridge PTSA, I sincerely thank all the officers, board and committee members and volunteers who have worked so hard this year. I also extend my gratitude to all other PTA, PTO and PTSA organizations and the County Council of PTAs for all their efforts.

This school year is rapidly drawing to a close. We at River Ridge are starting to look ahead to the next school year. We need parents, students, interested community members and faculty who will serve as committee members, board members and officers.

As we start the nominating process, we notice many well-wishers, many busy people and many who have served for several terms. We must have people who will make time to promote education and advocate for youth as part of an active Parent Teacher Student Association.

If the people who care will not make time and do the job, who shall we recruit? The River Ridge PTSA philosophy is that all of us should be involved as partners. Students, their parents, other relatives and friends who will share and work together are needed.

If you will commit at least two hours a month to serve on a PTSA committee and three or more hours monthly to serve on the PTSA board, call us at 836-7286, the PTSA volunteer office. Someone will get back to you as fast as possible.

We are also looking for volunteers who will staff our PTSA volunteer office; assist the media specialists, teachers and administrators; work directly with children; and participate in "Castle Keep" (a program with our VISTA volunteers). By working together, we can improve our children's education, create a safer, healthier environment and choose to make a difference.

You are needed and wanted to become part of a caring, sharing continuum reaching into the 21st century.

Sincerely and with thanks in advance to those who join us in PTSA.

Darlene S. Wolfe, vice president

River Ridge Parent Teacher Student Association

There's no age limit on being organ donor

Editor: Would you say "no" to organs or tissue for a loved one if they came from a healthy person over 70? 80? Even 90? My mother is 92 and carries a donor card. She says, "When I'm through with them, they can take whatever they can use."

What if your child or grandchild needed a heart and a 92-year-old could be the donor? Would you say, "No, we'll wait for a younger one?" I don't think so! There is no age limit except for bone marrow, and that's 55. The excuse to sign a donor card because "I'm too old" is gone.

In April, volunteers will be out visiting doctors, lawyers, hairdressers, etc., asking to leave some information in the office waiting area. I hope everyone that is asked will say "yes."

Organ/Tissue Awareness Week will be April 20-26. Some area churches have said "yes" to putting inserts into their bulletins. These can be in the bulletins on any Sunday in April.

We'll be at the malls, health fairs at the driver's license offices and many other areas during the week. If you see us, come over and say "hi." If you have any questions, please ask us.

If you'd like inserts for your church bulletin, 200, 400, whatever count, or brochures and donor cards for your office or for yourself, please call us for whatever you'd like. Candice Crowley, at LifeLink of Florida, (800) 350-9130, will get your requests and see that it is delivered to you. If you'd like to be a volunteer and help get the word about organ/tissue donation out to the public, let Candice know. There are more than 51,000 people on the organ/tissue waiting list!

The main thing is to become a donor card carrier and to talk it over with your family. Let them know your wishes. They have the final say. What a wonderful final gift to give: the gift of life.

Let me close with this: Don't take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here!

Elizabeth Rodzewicz, 1,000th kidney recipient

at Tampa General Hospital, New Port Richey

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Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668.

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