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This Week

Stetson's Corner

Karen McEnany-Phillips

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When June arrives, we must admit the other unspoken arrival is the beginning of the hurricane season — an everlasting five or six months that always puts us on edge. Given the extreme weather patterns across the country, who knows how intense our season will be.

The other day I heard a Deland resident quoted on television remark that when the recent brush fires came so close to her house, it looked like scenes that she'd seen on television — she just never expected it to be in her backyard. We sympathize when we think back to the wind, water and fire damage sustained in past years in our own little community. I have to believe planning and preparation and some level of insurance are the best protections, and after that, we have to leave it in the hands of powers greater than our own. Tornadoes are, of course, the hardest to prepare for because of the time factor. Fortunately, we do have sharp meteorologists who give minute-by-minute predictions when they see cells with potential for tornado formation. You can sign up to receive weather alerts on your cell phone or iPad. No we don't have basements and storm cellars, but we can look around our homes and think for a minute about what part is the safest. Do you have a room or closet without windows? Do you have a heavy table or workbench where you can crawl under and hold on? Do you have ditches on your property? Get low to the ground if if you can't find a safe place inside. Don't try to outdrive a tornado. Stop, get out of your car and go in a safe building or get low in a ditch. These tips are from the severe weather site on The site also suggests avoiding malls, auditoriums or buildings with wide span roofs.

There is no doubt that the disaster in Joplin is a national tragedy. I believe, however, in time, it will become a national treasure. It is so inspiring to see individuals and groups already rebuilding one structure at a time. The sound of portable generators and the patriotic splash of American flags give voice to the true spirit of our country in the face of incredible devastation and exhaustion. I believe Joplin will become an iconic American symbol — a spectacular rebirth built with an unbelievable mosaic of broken pieces. Shards of glass, splinters of wood and chunks of concrete will transform broken lives into a beautiful future.

July 4 parade

We'll keep you informed in the coming weeks about the Annual Geneva 4th of July Parade and Festival which will happen on Monday, July 4. The next planning meeting is this Saturday, June 4, at 8:30 a.m. at the Geneva Community Center. These two events are the two biggest fundraising events we do, and although they are executed on proven templates of the past, they continue to happen solely on volunteer and business sponsorship efforts.

Consider volunteering some of your time to the parade or festival efforts. It is such a fun event, and there are jobs large and small for every interest. Like horses? Help with the pony rides or equestrian part of the parade. Good at selling? Consider helping with one of the festival booths or selling water along the parade route. Patient with kids? We always need help with the children’s games. Like to cook? Hands are always needed in food preparation, set up and concession. Like to tell people where to go? Come help direct parking. The year’s theme is “Wings, Wheels & Hooves”, and we can't wait to see the floats you create, so get busy!

Call Richard Creedon 407-349-1266 if you can help and feel free to attend the Saturday meeting on Saturday — it won't be more than 90 minutes.