There is a great new program running at the recreation center. SNAP is an athletic program for children with special needs. There are lots of rumors flying around town coming from people trying to politicize this outstanding program. You have to love people who try to take credit for other people’s good ideas in an attempt to make personal political gains. I asked around about SNAP and here is what I found out:
- It was an idea suggested to the recreation board by Amiee Hamilton, a 9th Street resident who is not on the recreation board or running for any political office.
- It has been opened up to students with special needs who live in Ridley School District.
- It is run by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you have to have your background checks completed.
- It started up last week.
- It is run at Lighthouse Hall on Saturday afternoons, although it would appear that last week was held in Eddystone School’s gym instead.
The credit for this idea needs to go to Aimee Hamilton. After all, it was her idea, and she had the courage to share it with the recreation board. It must have taken some courage to go and share that idea with the board. The unfortunate reality over the past few years is that the recreation center has been politicized to the point where good volunteers have literally been run out of the building. Aimee Hamilton, who literally hung a banner in opposition to Karen Reeves and Dave Paterson’s team of candidates, had to be expecting that she would receive no attention from Paterson and Reeves.
After all, about a year ago, a resident on opposite political sides of Danielle Thompson approached the board with the idea of starting a running club and hosting a 5k event framed after a national program (“Couch to 5k”) to help keep children active. The idea never got off the ground because of all of the roadblocks put in place. The same resident proposed a Yoga club that also never got serious consideration because of various "concerns" that were never explained. Given how Thompson and her allies allowed politics to literally diminish the new opportunities for the children in the Borough, I would think that Hamilton would have been nervous coming to Paterson and Reeves with the idea, given her obvious support of other candidates.
But, Paterson and Reeves have said that they want to be leaders who put the community first. And this idea of Hamilton’s is a perfect example of how the RRPOE members have actually done what they are saying that are going to do. Mrs. Hamiliton went so far as to hang a banner on her house advertising her dislike of Reeves as a candidate (which is her right to do), but she also has a great idea that will benefit a group of kids who are often overlooked when it comes to recreation activities.
So, while I would have to imagine that it was hard for Paterson and Reeves to swallow their personal pride, it looks like they did just that because Hamilton’s SNAP idea is up and running. Paterson and Reeves could have used the same exact excuses that Thompson and her people used. Insurance. Scheduling. Liability. There are tons of excuses that could be made if someone wants to be difficult. However, Paterson and Reeves, rather than grind a personal axe against Hamilton, which had they done so would have shortchanged the kids like others did like Thompson and her people did, instead helped to ensure there were no roadblocks in the way so this program could get up and running. How do I know that is true? The proof is in the proverbial pudding-SNAP is up and running but the running and Yoga clubs never happened. And, while rarely do people get credit for the behind the scenes work that needs to go into a program, Reeves and Paterson deserve credit, just as Hamilton does for presenting the idea and the volunteers who are helping also do, for ensuring the children of our community are taken care of regardless of political posturing.
Special thanks goes out to Amiee Hamilton for coming up with a great idea and presenting it. Thanks also goes out to Dave Paterson and Karen Reeves for ensuring they represent all people and not just the people who supported them.
At election time, it is easy to say, “We are the candidates for all the people.” In fact, people can say just about anything at election time, but what they can’t do is change their past actions. It is much harder to actually be the candidate for all people. Looking at the track record, it is clear that only the RRPOE candidates say they want to work with everyone AND ACTUALLY TRY TO WORK WITH EVERYONE.
It takes strong character to be able to work with people who hung banners on their houses opposing them. Paterson has done it. Now Karen Reeves has done it. On November 5th, my vote for Council is going to Karen Reeves, Bill Stewart, Beth Gross, and Despo Tatasciore. My vote for Mayor is going to Allen Reeves Jr. I hope you will consider doing the same.
But don’t take my word for it. Come and meet them in person on Sunday night at the Doghouse for a good ole’ fashioned community potluck. Enjoy seeing neighbors and trading favorite recipes while getting a chance to meet with the candidates. Nothing says small town community fun like a potluck!