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Community does what it can to help

August 13, 2015
Editorial , Lake Placid News

The selfless spirit of this community isn't hard to find, and that's good since plenty of people are going through hard times and need a little help from their neighbors.

People gave more than $9,000 Tuesday evening to help apartment dwellers displaced by a major fire that damaged two downtown buildings July 25. The donations were collected through a fundraising event that featured food, drink and silent auctions. Business people, the St. Agnes Church and others teamed up to organize the logistics, track down the displaced residents and distribute the money to them. Some of them, like Jeff Bell, are still homeless. He plans to use the money toward a new apartment.

Local people also gave more than $10,000 to help Rik Cassidy pay for a liver transplant. Mr. Cassidy, a well-liked mainstay in this community's sports scene for decades, suffers from the rare Caroli disease, which assails the liver and causes him fatigue and long-term memory loss. It's sad that this nation still has such a bad health care system that a major fundraising effort is needed when someone gets seriously sick, but such appeals commonly appear in our paper - sad but true. The good news is that community members gladly step up and help pay for these neighbors' needs. That's much appreciated.

Not all fundraisers succeed. National Sports Academy had its life extended in 2013 with the help of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and $200,000 from the village's revolving loan fund, but that wasn't enough. It sought donations again late last year to save the school from folding amid weak enrollment and finances. An ambitious $400,000 goal was met, but that didn't stop the school from filing for bankruptcy. Then in the spring, NSA shut its its doors for good, graduating its final class. Now the building is being sold to a developer and its contents auctioned off to pay creditors. It's a sad story. NSA graduated 23 Olympians in its 38-year run, and now we have to face the fact that all things must pass.

Sometimes a money hole is too great to be filled by this small town, but nevertheless, the people of Lake Placid and its surrounding towns are still willing to share their wealth to help each other.



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