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Thursday, May 27, 2004 04:10 pm

letters 5-27-04

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Send letters to: Letters, Illinois Times. P.O. Box 5256. Springfield, Illinois 62705. Fax: (217) 753-3958. E-mail:


I would like to thank Todd Spivak for the fine job he did about the problems at Oak Ridge Cemetery ["Rest in pieces," May 6]. I advise everyone who is also alarmed about the conditions at the cemetery to contact their alderman and voice their concerns. If enough people do this, it will help put pressure on the mayor to do something.

I know a certain radio station was very critical of the injured kid featured in the article. We don't go into cancer wards and laugh at people who are dying of lung cancer because they smoked too much. We don't laugh at people having heart attacks because of their diet and lifestyle. No matter the circumstances that caused a 300 lb. grave marker to fall on the child, it could have ended more tragically.

This is just a kid, and a kid getting hurt is nothing to make light of.

Robert Pinkston Jr.


Not all of Springfield's families have the resources they need to make it in the world. Some of them need the help of others. And on April 24, those others proved to be a talented group of SIU School of Medicine students who organized and directed, for the tenth year, the A.M.A. 5K Run. The event benefited the homeless and at-risk women and children who seek shelter and support from M.E.R.C.Y. Communities' transitional living program.

Seven corporate sponsors and 170 runners partnered with co-directors Amar Chadaga, Matt Gardner, Bridget Heitz, Jason Konzelmann, Mindy Smith, and Cozumel Southern to ensure that these families have a safe place to live and a way to grow toward self-sufficiency. In the first three years of supporting the self-sufficiency efforts of M.E.R.C.Y.'s families, this group has raised more than $10,000 to address family homelessness, the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population in our country.

To the student section of the A.M.A. and all those who supported their efforts to make this event possible, our heartfelt thanks for another year of helping to improve the lives of young women and children.

Mary F. Stone
Executive director
M.E.R.C.Y. Communities Inc.

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