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Your Views: Golf event raises $201K to benefit Gateway Center
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Domestic violence is not a pleasant thought for any of us, but unfortunately, it's a daily reality for many. For more than 25 years in the Gainesville-Hall County community, victims of domestic violence have been turning to Gateway Domestic Violence Center for help.

Yes, Gateway is an emergency shelter and 24/7 crisis line, but it is much more. It provides assistance in obtaining temporary protective orders, case management, victim advocacy in court, educational programs and support groups for domestic violence survivors.

Last year, Gateway was forced to close program enrollment due to lack of space.

The Medical Center Foundation decided to help. Gateway Domestic Violence Center was selected as the beneficiary of the 2008 Medical Center Open Golf Tournament, and our community wholeheartedly embraced the effort.

Held in October at Chicopee Woods Golf Course, hundreds of golfers, volunteers and sponsors took part in the 17th annual tournament to stand together against domestic violence. At the end of the day, Gateway was presented with a check for $201,545 to fund an expansion and renovation project to increase their ability to help those in need of their services. Wow! That's quite a powerful statement!

The Hall County community has proven time and again that we are willing to lend a helping hand to those in need, perhaps even more in these uncertain economic times. All sponsor and player fees to go directly to Gateway.

The Open is truly a community-wide event. Since 1997, more than $1.7 million has been raised for community health improvement projects by the Medical Center Open thanks to the overwhelming support of so many individuals and businesses. We are proud to be a part of a community willing to give so generously of themselves for those in need.

On behalf of The Medical Center Foundation and ourselves, thank you for your support.

Stephen Moore, M.D., and Lorry Schrage
Co-chairmen, Medical Center Open

We're all due for some Christmas perspective
As much as I love this season, I am disheartened that Christmas has become so materialistic and less about its true meaning.

I know, you've heard it before, usually some religious nut crying out to "keep Christ in Christmas!" A valid point, but if it holds no power of persuasion for you, consider the value of a human life, because a life has been taken in the name of Christmas bargain shopping.

The degradation of our Christmas traditions is sadly illustrated in the story of Jdimytai Damour, a Wal-Mart worker who was trampled to death by a shopping mob early Friday morning. During the season that is supposed to celebrate life, I am deeply saddened by his death. But I am more saddened by the fact that our celebrations of this season of wonder and life and beauty have been reduced to a breeding ground for greed and materialism.

In light of this sobering tragedy, how will we celebrate Christmas this season? Will we be brave enough to be countercultural, to buy less, and love more, to generate new traditions based on relationships, not stuff? I hope we will.

(Did you know you can buy a goat for an impoverished family in another country? See  www.adventconspiracy.org or www.musthavegifts.org for more creative gift alternatives.)

Robby Christmas
Gainesville

Bush deserves credit for keeping us safe
I want to thank Mr. Shoemake for his letter in Saturday's Times, "Reasons to thank Bush." This article should show everyone the mind set that all liberals have today.

First and foremost, we should all thank God and then President Bush that we have not had another attack on this great nation of ours since 9/11. I guess the liberals will blame the president for the terrorist attacks in India this past week and all the attacks against innocent children, women and men else where around the world. They do blame him for our present mess with the economy when it is the Democrats in Congress, Barney Franks and associates, who failed to stop Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which are responsible for this mess.

I know Mr. Shoemake and his liberal friends will be thankful to see Jan. 20, 2009, come around and see that we have a president that is known to have associated with William Ayers, a terrorist, and a preacher that preached hate toward America. Dream on Mr. Shoemake.

Gene Cordell
Gainesville

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