Letter to the Editor: Letter from community leaders.

May 20, 2020

Letter to the Editor: Letter from community leaders.

Letters to the editor are opinion editorials submitted by readers. Letters to the editor are a long tradition in American journalism. The views and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of Mason County Press, its staff or its parent company. For more information, please refer to MCP’s Op/Ed policy.

To our fellow community members, neighbors, friends and local businesses:

For the last few months, our nation has fought against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in a multitude of ways which have impacted our day-to-day lives. We are unable to visit our loved ones; we are unable to visit our favorite restaurant for a good meal; we are all wearing masks and don’t always get to see another person’s smile. These difficult situations have caused each of us to reconsider how we respond to crisis, while at the same time understanding these actions may be able to help prevent an untold number of additional people from getting sick or passing away. However, this pandemic has also highlighted some of the reasons why we all chose to live in such an amazing community.

Over the last few months, we have seen actions taken by a number of our community organizations and individuals to help their neighbors through this difficult time:

  • A “Support our Healthcare Workers” event in the Spectrum Ludington Hospital parking lot with all our local first responders, fire and police departments, as well as citizens honking their horns in support;
  • The creation of a fund at the Community Foundation for Mason County which has raised over $100,000 in support of local non-profits and organizations supporting our communities most vulnerable;
  • The ideation and execution of a full food service program by each of our local school districts in order to support the young people in our community who struggle with food security;
  • The retooling of our entire K-12 education system by our local school districts to make sure our area children continue to receive a high-quality education;
  • The spending of over $33,000 by our neighbors on gift cards to support local businesses in less than two weeks;
  • Finally, the creative ways each of us are trying to stay connected with our neighbors, friends, and loved ones during this time of “physical distancing.”

Each of these actions helps keep our community connected and strong as we navigate our way through this pandemic, with the hope that we come out the other side stronger than before. However, we must continue to do all we can to support one another and display grace in the face of a health and economic crisis.

As a community we must continue to…

  • Speak and act towards one another with a level of dignity expected in a small town;
  • Give our neighbors the benefit of the doubt during dialogue;
  • Support our local businesses and show them grace as they adjust to changing conditions and struggle through this difficult period;
  • Look after our most vulnerable populations as we work towards reopening our great community together!

As individuals we can only control and determine our own decisions, but as a community, we can create momentum for us to move out of this crisis stronger than ever!

Thank you and don’t forget to #WashYourHandsAndShopLocal!

  • Janet Andersen, chairwoman, Mason County Board of Commissioners
  • Steve Miller, mayor, City of Ludington
  • Bruce Krieger, mayor, City of Scottville
  • Lynne Russell, executive director, United Way of Mason County
  • Andrea Large, executive director, Community Foundation for Mason County
  • Brandy Miller, president/CEO, Ludington and Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Jeff Mount, superintendent, Mason County Central Schools
  • Dr. Jason Jeffrey, superintendent, West Shore Educational Service District
  • Paul T. Shoup, superintendent, Mason County Eastern Schools
  • Jason Kennedy, superintendent, Ludington Area School District
  • Rich Ambrose, school director, Covenant Christian School
  • Scott Ward, president, West Shore Community College

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