Worthington may be a far-from-utopian community, but it’s not difficult to come with a healthy list of assets. Take what took place in town Saturday, for example.
The Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) Mobile Pack event, which started Friday night and continued throughout the day Saturday, exceeded expectations thanks to a remarkable show of support of community residents of all ages and walks of life. The original goals of packing 108,900 meals and raising $24,000 were easily exceeded, as final totals for the weekend were 132,192 meals — enough to feed over 362 children one meal a day for an entire year — and more than $32,000 raised.
Enthusiasm at the packing event Saturday morning inside the Worthington Arena was positively infectious. Peppy pop songs blared over the speakers as volunteers eagerly and hurriedly worked to pack as much food as they could. It was the community’s second FSMC Mobile Pack, and organizers afterward gushed about how pleased they were with the community support they were given.
The generosity shown that day didn’t stop there, though. Not by a long shot.
The annual fundraising event for Worthington’s Sunset Hospice Cottage took place Saturday night at the Worthington Event Center, and — as usual — the occasion was another rousing success for an extremely worthy cause.
Susanne Murphy, who serves as vice president on the Sunset Hospice Cottage board, said Tuesday morning that the event was a sellout, and that tables for eight were converted to tables to 10 to accommodate as many attendees as possible. She noted that 507 ribeye steaks were grilled by the Rock-Nobles Cattlemen, and 55 silent auction items were up for bidding.
Among the items bid on Saturday were what Murphy called “experiences,” such as a fire truck ride for multiple youths and a pontoon ride followed by dinner. Emcee Chad Cummings offered a tribute to his good friend, Ken Moser, who died last month at Sunset Hospice Cottage, and bidding on a diamond pendant worth $750 and donated by Johnson Jewelry resulted in a significantly larger purchase price — with the pendant ultimately given by the buyers to Moser’s widow, Robyn.
“There was testimony that brought tears, and bidding wars that brought cheers,” Murphy said, adding that while final totals weren’t in yet, “it was a record-breaking fundraiser” for the facility.
We should be proud of the collective generosity in Worthington for multiple reasons. Among them is the fact that, in the case of Saturday, two worthy causes — feeding needy children around the world, and a facility that provides compassionate and professional end-of-life care right here at home — were clear beneficiaries. Secondly, it seems that this type of unselfishness by Worthingtonians can only rub off on our youngest residents. There were kids aplenty helping out during the Mobile Pack, and as they mature, hopefully they’ll both recall and continue to learn about ways they can give of themselves to make their community and world a better place.
Yes, I think it’s fair to say that Worthington isn’t perfect. But I think it’s important to note that it’s got a large number of wonderful people who give of themselves for others in many, many ways. When it comes right down to it, that may be the most important component of all in determining a place to proudly call home.