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A brighter look at humanity during this traditionally negative season
By Rep. Tan Parker, guest columnist
As we near the general election in November, the thought of enduring the constant vitriol of competitive campaigns which seldom display the qualities we seek in our leaders weighs heavy on us all. It certainly is disappointing when our President responds to the misleading nature of his very own political ads by saying, "Do we see sometimes us going overboard in our campaign…? Eh, that happens in politics."
With our President setting the tone, we know what is in store. That is why I wanted to share with you some recent examples of the countless acts of compelling benevolence, self-sacrifice, and generosity that happen right here in Denton County. So the next time you want to roll your eyes at a political commercial on tv, think back instead to one of these stories…
Ranch Hand Rescue
Ranch Hand Rescue is an extraordinary organization in Argyle that has the unique characteristic of helping to heal both animals and humans. Bob Williams, owner and operator of the ranch, takes in abused and neglected farm animals that otherwise have no other options. He rehabilitates them at his ranch, giving them a second chance at a full life, and an opportunity to experience love.
From pigs to goats to donkeys, and especially horses, Bob and Ranch Hand Rescue not only nurse these animals back to health, but show them trust and how to build relationships with people by pairing these amazing animals with people who have also endured trauma, abuse, or challenging life circumstances. Ranch Hand Rescue is truly a testament to the importance of second chances and the power of compassion.
Seeing firsthand the difficult burden endured by those suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF), the Lemonade Pals were born as a children run charitable organization to help raise money for the research and treatment of CF. In their 6th year of operation, this incredible group, has truly "made lemonade out of lemons". Their simple, yet sincere efforts have raised over $13,000 to help identify more effective and better manageable ways to treat this unfortunate disease.
No story of individual sacrifice shared with me over the past year quite touched me like that of Marie Bell and her extraordinary case of generosity and selfless giving. A teacher at Highland Village Elementary, Ms. Bell acted on what few would even consider after learning that a student's father had suddenly gone into kidney failure. His condition fatal, Ms. Bell searched for ways to assist the family in need. Ms. Bell had herself tested as a possible kidney donor and upon learning that she was a suitable match, she underwent the operation and donated a kidney to Marshall Smith, a man she had never before met.
When I think of how few of us would donate a kidney to a complete stranger, it puts great perspective on the life changing decision Marie Bell made. She not only saved Marshall's life, but also assured that his son would not grow up fatherless. All too often the term hero gets loosely thrown around, yet one cannot help but to call Marie Bell's acts truly heroic.
Mayor Thomas Pidcock
Not all human interest stories have happy endings, some are bittersweet. Such was the case with Double Oak Mayor Thomas Pidcock. Over the course of an accomplished life, Mayor Pidcock served 35 years in our armed services, earning the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. His civic service to Double Oak spanned over fifteen years as a periodic elected official. As Mayor, he truly took the reins of running a town that does not employee a town manager to handle day to day operations. Even though he long suffered from lung cancer, Mayor Pidcock never let his condition interfere with his service that meant so much to Double Oak residents.
I considered the Mayor a friend and like so many others, I was deeply saddened with his passing. But I also join his countless friends, family members and supporters in celebrating his life and holding Thomas Pidcock as a modern day standard bearer for the personal conduct and self-sacrifice that is expected of us as citizens of a great state and a great nation.
These stories along with many more deserve our gratitude and I hope you will join me in appreciating their significance and making sure that they are widely celebrated. As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives, and I welcome your feedback on this and any other critical state issues. If you would like to share a thought with me, please feel free to contact me at my Capitol office at 512-463-0688 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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