Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rivals come together for something really important

When I heard North and South were going to have a charity basketball game to support the Chardon community in the wake of the tragedy that occurred Feb. 27, I wasn't surprised.

When I heard the event featuring football players from the two Willoughby-Eastlake District schools raised more than $30,000, I was even less shocked.

Not that it isn't an impressive number, but I have so much respect for our community and for the coaches and players and administrations from the two schools, it didn't rattle me one bit.

Rivalries are fun in high school sports, but the Rangers and Rebels obviously get what is more important. Kudos to both schools for wanting to do something that had nothing to do with newspaper coverage or attention other than raising money and simply being there for another community.

They did what they did, not to get in the paper or have the spotlight shine on them or the football rivalry which is one of the best if not THE best in the News-Herald coverage area. They did what they did because it came from the heart. The $30,000 raised is just an indication of the spirit and generosity and compassion of those in attendance that night.

And to all that attended and donated last Friday, feel good about your efforts. That is what is important. Not who won, not who coached, not the Civil War. It was all about Chardon and the parents who lost loved ones and the friends and classmates who are going through an unimaginable time of grieving.

All those who had anything to do with the event should be commended. The monetary sum is significant, but it shouldn't be surprising. Not if you know Coach Matt Duffy from South, Coach George Burich from North and the athletic directors and parent groups from both schools.

When you take all the rivalry issues and intensity away from the North-South border war in Eastlake and Willoughby, it is about people. And in this case, it is people doing the right thing and simply being there for Chardon.

Well done, folks. You don't want attention or a slap on the back, but here is a thank you for all of us who care and feel every day for what the Chardon community is going through.

- BTilton@News-Herald.com


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