... 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
... 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
... 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
... to the two New Albany EMS firemen that came to our house on Labor day morning to help with my wife.
I did not get their names, but perhaps they will know who they are when they see my name. They were great. It makes a person feel safe knowing this kind of help is available when really needed. Thanks again fellows. You made my day.
— Donald G. Grose, New Albany
... to the lady in front of me today at the McDonald’s drive-thru in Charlestown.
While pulling the normal, “it’s a Tuesday after a holiday, but feels like a Monday rush,” I figured a little breakfast would get me back on track. After ordering and “having my payment ready” — exact change I may add — I pulled up to pay for my order. The gentlemen advised the person in the car in front of me had paid for my order. As many of us would be with our faith in humanity, I was caught off guard and still attempted to pay, thinking the gentlemen was just making small talk. He again advised, “the car in front of you paid for your order.”
I pulled ahead and within a few seconds was back on the road heading to work. On the way in to work, I kept thinking about how I wanted to personally thank her, however I reminded myself that she was not doing this for a thank you, she was just doing her part to pay it forward.
Here’s a big thank you for the brief encounter, and to a little thing that can do big things for someone’s day.
— Matt Morlang, Charlestown
... to the New Albany Police Department from the entire Neafus family.
NAPD escorted my brother’s, Dr. James L. Neafus, procession to his final resting place with great respect and dignity. Thanks also to Cpl. Mark Richards of the Clarksville Police Department.
Thanks also to all the people in the vehicles who took the time to pull over to the side of the road to offer their respect.
— Judy Cooksey, Sellersburg
— Do you have someone or something to cheer or jeer? Submissions should be sent to Editor Shea Van Hoy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 221 Spring St., Jeffersonville, IN, 47130.