We’re all in this together as Americans
The school year ends with a crescendo of activities as graduates pour out of schools. I can remember how happy we all were to escape the hot classrooms and disappear for the summer. In my case, I had ranch work to perform and spent most of the summer putting up hay on a northwest Colorado ranch.
Come fall, it was a happy time to go back to school, the attraction was friends, not school books. It was great to see everyone back in class and see how we had all changed in just a few short summer months.
I attended a breakfast this week hosted by The Denver Schools Foundation that raises money for needy students to attend college. There were more than 300 participants at the breakfast and they gave a former Craig resident, Pres Askew, credit for organizing the donor breakfast. Askew was a Denver resident, but moved with his family to Craig a dozen years ago – and while there, he organized and started the Boys and Girls Club, a very successful nonprofit.
Following family members in the medical field, he and his wife Patti moved back to Denver where he became president of Colorado Boys and Girls Clubs. Last week, he was working on behalf of the Denver School’s Foundation and hosting a gigantic breakfast at the Denver Athletic Club, another one of his projects.
He also has participated in The Denver Lions Club, among his many activities.
Great volunteers are hard to find and we have a multitude of volunteers in the Denver metro area like Askew. There is no way that all of the nonprofits could operate without the wonderful volunteers that work from their hearts for nothing but maybe a scant “thank you.”
The Salvation Army is constructing a new Harbor Light building project on Champa Street where the Army is building a new home that will house 120 homeless men. It will be completed in 15 months. Another board of volunteers assists the Army in its marvelous support of the disadvantaged, afflicted and destitute men, women and children. The new project includes a brand new kitchen where the Army cooks thousands of free meals each day for the hungry. This is truly God’s work and so well done by The Salvation Army. This is a huge investment in metro Denver at a cost of $8 million; the Army has been in Denver for 125 years serving needy people.
At least 1,800 friends and supporters of Larry Mizel and the Mizel Museum gathered at the Lowry Airport Museum to honor Glenn Jones with the 2012 Community Enrichment Award. The television “Cable Guy” has been a Denver fixture for decades and has made his mark in pioneering education through television programs, including his own accredited online university.
Again, volunteers everywhere were making the event an annual must for the Museum and a strong bond between the Jewish community and everyone else. It is a loving, caring evening where old and new friends are made and cherished. Hats off to Larry and his family for all they do in Denver and the world.
Lastly, I noticed something strange at the Denver Foundation’s breakfast. The keynote speaker was Steve White, an African American, who is the Western Division President of Comcast. He spoke of his childhood growing up dirt poor in a public housing project where, by only his single mother’s perseverance, he and his three brothers worked their way out of poverty and all attended college, he graduating from Indiana University. A wonderful, meaningful talk about how people with meager means can become successful in America and why financial aid for scholarships can change lives; it changed his life and will change many more.
It dawned on me that after his introduction as an “African American,” why do we use that term anymore? I’m not an Irish American, we don’t refer to Mexican Americans, and I think it is well past the time that we stop referring to Americans by where their ancestors might have lived.
Steve White is as American as anyone in this nation; we need to start dropping racial titles in stories and introduction.
We’re all in this together as Americans and volunteers.
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