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September 7, 2013

CHEERS AND JEERS — For Sept. 7

CHEERS

... to Jessica Smith for having the courage to speak out about her childhood abuse in the hopes of helping break the cycle for others.

On page A1 of today’s News and Tribune, readers will find a profile of Smith, 23, who told reporter Amanda Beam she was abused by a dozen people during her turbulent childhood.

The numbers are staggering; as Beam writes, one in three women are sexually abused during their childhood. But those numbers often times don’t speak to people.

Those like Smith who speak out are much more likely to make an impact.

Luckily, at 18 Smith found Soar Ministry, a New Albany-based nonprofit organization that provides counseling and other assistance for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Smith is now in the healing process and by sharing her story, hopefully others will realize it’s “OK to not be OK.”

People with stories similar to Smith’s can get more information about healing from  noon to 6 p.m. today at Fairmont Park in New Albany, when Soar will hold its third-annual Soar Fest. Call 812-590-2426 for more information.

— Editor Shea Van Hoy

READER CHEERS

... to New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan.

The new Bicentennial Park is a lovely intimate family venue in the heart of downtown where neighbors can gather and enjoy music and conversation. Last Friday’s concert was lovely. There were picnic baskets, tables and umbrellas, lawn chairs all around, and children dancing in the grass. It felt like a big family reunion.

This new public space is a great complement to the larger riverfront venue. I look forward to more events in this space.

— Susan Ryan, Floyds Knobs

READER CHEERS

... to the leadership of the Jeffersonville Elks Lodge 362 for announcing lower rates to encourage new members.

They have improved the restaurant and lounge, started an advertising campaign and welcome people to join for the golf, the pool and the philanthropy/ scholarship activities. I am proud to be a long-time member and am enthusiastic to see the changes by our new leadership. Stop by and check out the Elks Country Club and see the changes that are now well on their way to excellence.

Congrats to all those who have put in the thought, time and effort to improve the organization and the amenities it has to offer.

— Rick Lovan, Jeffersonville

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