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Saying thanks

To the editor:

On behalf of the cancer patients and their families, I would like to share what I am thankful for this year.  

Halifax County is an amazing place to live and work.  The citizens of the county support Halifax County Cancer Association in too many ways to name.  

Because of the generosity of the residents of Halifax County, Halifax County Cancer Association has been able to provide assistance to almost 200 cancer patients in 2012.  Because of the generosity of the residents, Halifax County Cancer Association has been able to help pay for gas, totaling over $63,000, for cancer patients to travel to cancer related doctor appointments and treatments and assist with medications, totaling over $11,000, for cancer related treatment and symptoms.  

Halifax County Cancer Association has been able to help pay rent for a patient who could not pay their rent due to being unable to work due to cancer, we have helped on doctor bills, provided wigs, bras and prosthesis to name a few ways cancer patients have been helped.  

Daily I have patients tell me how grateful they are that Halifax County Cancer Association is here to help them during this time.  I always tell patients and their families that without the support of the citizens of Halifax County, we could not do what we do. 

Halifax County Cancer Association is just a means to get the support to the cancer patients of the county.  I continue to be amazed at how this county supports the cancer patients.  

As we enter this holiday season, continue to know that Halifax County Cancer Association is here to provide assistance to the cancer patients and their families in Halifax County.  

Halifax County Cancer Association will hold a luminary service on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 5:15 p.m. on the steps of the courthouse in Halifax.  The service will be held as a way to honor or remember a loved one that is fighting or has lost their battle to cancer.  

Luminary bags are available for $5, and you may decorate it in a way that represents your loved one. On Dec. 2 the bags will be lit, and names will be read to memorialize or honor family and friends.

Bags may be purchased anytime at Halifax County Cancer Association and Hite Insurance on Main Street Halifax, and Timeless Traditions on Seymour Drive South Boston.  Bags also will be available for sale at the Town of Halifax Children’s parade on Nov. 30.  

If you would like to purchase a bag the day of the event, please come to the Halifax County Cancer Association office between 1 and 4:30 on Sunday, Dec. 2.

We hope you will join us for this moving memorial service.

For more information on the luminary service or Halifax County Cancer Association, please call 434-476-2714.  Our office hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

I am truly thankful and blessed to be part of a community that supports cancer patients like Halifax County does.  

Sharon Blosser

Director of Patient Services 

Halifax County Cancer


Begin the budget balancing process

To the editor:

Recently Kathy May with the Virginia Consumer Voices for Healthcare had an op-ed piece in the Richmond Times Dispatch.  Her piece could not have been a more perfect example of the dilemma that currently faces our nation. 

 Ms. May described her family’s income as being one third higher than the median family income in Fairfax County.  Consider that in context with the rest of us.  The median household income for the United States is $50,443.  The median household income in Fairfax County is $103,010, more than twice that of the national median and probably three times that of our region.   Again, she said her family income is a third greater than that.  This would place her family in the top 5 percent of earners in the country.

 The essence of the column was that she and her husband cannot survive as she deals with an aging parent, an adult child with problems, and plan for her and her husband’s retirement.   

I certainly have empathy for her family needs and their challenges, however, if those who have incomes almost three times the median income of others in this country cannot make it on their own, how can anyone?  

Simple math should tell folks that if many in the 5th or 6th percentage income households believe they cannot care for the challenges their family faces, then how can the other 94 or 95 percent face their challenges.  How then can our nation move forward if 95 percent need help? 

 Why should 95 percent of the working families be expected to pay higher taxes to cover the expenses of those near the top?  It will not work.  It has not worked for some time.

Despite what our leaders say about making top earners pay more, they know that too many families are too dependent on government help for the richest few percentages of families to make any more than a dent in the demands of the rest of the country.  

Despite what they say, they are simply going to continue to kick the can down the road and into the laps of our children and grandchildren. 

They believe they can simply print and borrow money with the hope that tomorrow will be better.  Anyone who has tried living beyond their income on charge cards has found that there is a day of reckoning.  It usually comes after interest payments have driven their family into bankruptcy. 

In times like this we should turn to history and our forefathers.  How did the founders of our nation survive without the many programs that now exist?

Quite simply, they understood their responsibilities as families to prepare for their future. They understood that there would be bad times as well as good, that you held back what you could, when you could.  

Communities understood who truly needed help, and they helped those. However, they did not allow the lazy to sponge off the rest of the community.

Our elected leaders in Washington must stop misleading the public into believing they can simply tax a few people more and balance the books. Instead they are going to have to cut programs that are driving the budget way beyond resources.

 If we can balance the budget in Virginia, they should be able to balance their budget in Washington.  Now is the time to begin that process.

Senator Frank Ruff



‘Why Christmas?’

To the editor:

Have you ever wondered what the big deal is with Christmas?  Not the commercial stuff, but the religious stuff.  

To some people, Christmas is all about Santa Claus, shopping, stockings hung by the chimney and lots of decorating.  But maybe there’s more to Christmas.

I invite you to hear Dr. Mike Parnell talk about some questions concerning Christmas.  During the month of December, he will have sermons based on four Christmas questions: 

Why celebrate Christmas?

Why bother with Jesus?

Why did Jesus come to Earth?

What do I do?

Please join us at Beth Car Baptist Church in Halifax at 11 a.m. on Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23 to find out “Why Christmas?”.  Hope to see you there.

Sophia P. Decker

Beth Car Baptist Church