Get involved

One of the things I stressed during my recent mayoral campaign and I plan to continue moving forward into office is to encourage folks to get involved. Whether it is your church, your child’s school, a civic club, or many other options. I have found it to be so fulfilling to be a part of a group, and work to make things happen not only for the group, but for others as well.

Just this past weekend, I was privileged to be involved with the Hartselle Kiwanis Half Marathon. Now one could ask why a 54-year-old slightly overweight man would be interested in a 13-mile race. But watching the runners as they crossed the finish line, whether it was the first runner or the final, the look of accomplishment on their faces was very apparent. Now, I will admit I thought a couple were going to pass out as they came to a stop, but they still did something I would not be able to do.

By getting involved with Kiwanis, I am able to be around folks like this. I may never run a 13-mile race, but I was able to help provide a medium in which these folks could accomplish a goal. Also their determination to finish gives me reason to work harder for my own goals. The proceeds from this race will enable our club to give out scholarships to high school seniors, provide meals for those down on their luck at Thanksgiving and Christmas and provide gift cards to our schools so they are able to help students have basic school supplies. Now on my own I could not accomplish any of this, but working together with other men and women we can accomplish great things.

Also, by being involved with the Hartselle Chamber of Commerce, I was involved with a group of folks who pulled off the 36th annual Depot Days Week. Now if you think all of these events take place all on their own, let me share with you, it takes a village to plan, organize and put into play the week long activities. But when you walk onto Main St. on the third Saturday of September, you can see why all the work takes place. When you see Main St. and surrounding feeder streets full of people, shopping, enjoying themselves and supporting both the vendors there and the local shops, you realize your time was well spent.

Again, one person or even a dozen could not pull this off. However, add 50 folks and more, working, planning and pulling the yoke together much can be accomplished. You are yoked with folks who share the same goals of a successful festival. When you work together the yoke and the load that needs to be moved gets much lighter.

I have made many friends through the associations, clubs and organizations I am involved with. Friends who I feel that I could call anytime and they would be there. There is a camaraderie that is felt among members of a group that cannot be broken, as long as all are pulling for the same goal.

I encourage all to get involved in something; you may be surprised at what you are missing.

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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