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Charles Meredith: A perfect American volunteer

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Dear Friends,

Good morning. We’re finally done with cold, rainy, snowy, miserable February … huzzah! Today I want to tell you about Jane Grim, one of our favorite people.

She’s been chosen as the outstanding woman of the year by the Bucks County League of Women Voters. Jane is the better half of Perkasie lawyer John Grim.

For years Mighty Betsy and I have competed with Jane and John on area tennis courts and golf courses. (John can shoot his age on golf’s most difficult courses!) The Grims are keen competitors, so it’s always fun to see how long we last … not long … they always win.

Anyway, Jane often talks about my father who believed that volunteerism is what makes America different from all nations. It was the notion of volunteers in every town and city from coast to coast that forms the glue binding Americans together. Jane Grim is the perfect example of the American volunteer.

This is what Peggy Dator, the co-president of the Bucks County League of Women Voters, had to say about Jane:

“Jane has been a resident of Perkasie and East Rockhill Township for 50 years and has been an active member of the League of Women voters for 49 years, serving as president of both the Doylestown Chapter and the Bucks County Chapter,” Peggy Dator began.

“Jane’s great passion is voting, citizenship and active participation in the community. She has spoken to all kinds of groups about the importance of voting, what to look for in a candidate, what to ask a candidate, where to look for information and the importance of double-checking information…because it may not be true, or “Fake News” as they now say.

“One of the talks Jane can well remember was given to teenagers who were in juvenile detention. The upcoming election was a municipal election with no well-known person on the ballet. Jane asked the teens to list their concerns and the concerns of their parents. Jane helped them understand that one vote could make a difference.

The prison official sent Jane a thank you note stating how apropos her presentation had been, because in the election the next day, a local representative had won by just one vote.

“Another area where Jane stands out is her 45-year involvement and commitment to Grand View Hospital, where she again served in many capacities … from a member of the Grand View Hospital Auxiliary for 45 years and of the board of directors for 25 years. As president, Jane worked with the hospital CEO to re-organize all of the volunteer groups in the hospital into one cohesive unit.

“Jane volunteered for five years with Grand View Hospital’s Elementary School Poison Prevention Program by dressing up as a princess and introducing a puppet show about the dangers of poison.

“Jane was the first woman appointed to the Board of Trustees of Grand View Hospital. She started the Pennridge Home and School Association. She was a docent at the James A Michener Art Museum for 17 years.

She served on the Pennridge Youth Aid Panel for 15 years and Pennridge Advisory Board. Jane has been on the Community Service Foundation Board.

“After retirement, Jane has focused her volunteerism with the League of Women Voters in Florida. She is a woman who has devoted her life to improving Bucks County and our community,” Peggy Dator’s letter concluded.

Turning to other items, a few Saturdays ago, I tuned into Michael Smerconish’s television show. He was interviewing Joe Nocera, the author of “Indentured … the inside rebellion against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).” Nocera believes, as I do, that college athletes should be paid.

The news revolved around Zion Williamson, the marvelous basketball player at Duke University whose defective NIKE shoe ruptured and caused a knee strain.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL) have been getting away with financial murder for decades. Both leagues do not have to pay for minor league teams as we find in major league baseball. The NBA and the NFL don’t need them thanks to college basketball and football programs.

As I watched the Smerconish program, I thought about James Michener’s book “Sports in America.” Written in 1976, Michener held that colleges should pay their student athletes to entertain the student body and alumni … and keep them out of the classroom where most of them don’t want to be in the first place.

Next week, we’ll discuss two religious topics: first, the approaching divide in the Methodist Church. Will it expel pastors who are openly homosexual?

And second, what does Father Fred Riegler, the pastor of St. Isidore’s Catholic Church in Quakertown, have to say about the continuing sex abuse scandal and the four-day conclave with the pope in Rome?

Stay tuned.

Sincerely, Charles Meredith


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