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I've said it again and again, I love the people of Anderson County.
That in itself is one of the reasons I work here.
As with any place, we still have a few people who would rather take time out of their day to send crude, unnecessary e-mails to "airheads" like me who write nothing but "mindless dribble" rather than actually put forth some positive energy, but for the most part Anderson County is full of loving, caring and accepting people.
Here are two cases in point:
This Friday, hundreds of Anderson Countians will gather at the American Legion Fairgrounds to raise money for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life.
It's true that the event itself runs for just 12 hours from Friday night into Saturday morning, but many of the people involved work for 12 months to make sure the event goes off without a hitch and raises more and more money each year.
Relay is still a few days away, but organizers are already seeking volunteers for next year, and I'm 100 percent sure they have a large number of people who are willing to commit a year in advance.
Through my contact with Charlene Hanks, who helps with publicity for Relay, I recently learned that since it began in 2002, the Anderson County Relay for Life has raised $361,143 for the American Cancer Society.
The goal for this year is to raise $82,000. If this goal is met (and it very well could be, since it is only about $1,200 more than what was raised last year, and the money raised keeps increasing from year to year), Anderson Countians alone will have raised nearly a half million dollars in support of cancer research.
It truly is amazing at how caring the people in this county are.
And, to present my second case in point, some of the most caring people I've met here have been members of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary.
I have been welcomed with open arms into both organizations, and on more than one occasion, I've been told I'm considered a member of the Legion family.
That floors me and overwhelms me in the best way. I've only been here for about five months, and these people already consider me family - and I'm just a reporter.
That really should come at no surprise, because I've seen the many lives they touch and I bet every single one of those people also feel like family.
From playing bingo with the veterans at the VA hospital in Lexington to welcoming each individual to the Lawrenceburg Fair, the members of the Legion and Auxiliary go above and beyond on a daily basis.
Not to mention they're positive and persistent, too.
On June 9, the Healing Field on Broadway was destroyed during a storm. Repairs are now estimated to cost close to $40,000 - but they're not discouraged. They've just picked themselves up and starting raising money to fly those flags again. And God bless them for it.
Thank you to all the participants in Relay for Life and to all the Legion and Auxiliary members. You are a positive force in this county. If the world had more people like you, it most definitely would be a better place.