Friday, September 21, 2012
It's your turn dammit.... 10 years ago, I started working at little sports bar in Salem. It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Never did I think that 10 years later I would still be slinging drinks behind the bar. I have had the opportunity to meet some really amazing people along the way. Some people that I am honored to say have become some of my very best friends. There are also those people that you stop and say "Jesus, it's going to be a long ass night" Luckily for me, they are few and far between. With that said, I would like to tell you about a certain family that I have had the pleasure to meet. I don't even recall the first time that I met them, but they have had a lasting effect on how I view the people around me. I used to hear stories about people who were effected by tragic things and think that's so awful. I would think about them and then sad to say get busy with the many things in life that overwhelm you on a day to day basis. Taking care of the kids, food shopping, going to work etc. Then I met The McKinnons, they taught me that we need to stop and not only say "wow that's an awful tragedy", but "how can we help?" Melanie McKinnon has given up so much of her time to help the people in Salem and the surrounding communities. She and her family have given up hours of their lives to make other people's lives a little bit better. From Turkey drives, in which her and her family collect and distribute turkey dinners for many people who otherwise would never have anything to eat on Thanksgiving, to collecting old prom dressses from her friends and giving them away to girls who would otherwise not ever be able to afford a dress for their prom. These are just minimal examples of the things that she does for total strangers. Not to make herself feel better, but for the need pay it forward just a little bit. The McKinnons and I share a commonality. My Mom struggles with MS similiar to Melanie's sister Katie. MS is a terrible disease. MS not only causes people to loose the feeling and the use of their limbs, but it also effects your vision and hearing and so many other parts of your body. Proper medications can stop more liasons from erupting in the brain. Melanie has held countless benefits to support the MS society and in recent years I have been honored to help out on a small scale. I think that she does this in hopes that someday all of the money raised will help find a cure for MS. The McKinnon's are not a rich family. They are just like all of us except when most of us stop at "wow that's awful" they go that extra step and they do something to help. Katie, who lives in Las Vegas with her 5 children and her husband, has hit rock bottom financially. This is a woman, who I don't know personaly, but I have great admiration for. Life has handed her some pretty bad situations and she has prevailed through them. She has stopped taking her medication because she can no longer afford to pay for it. This to me is unacceptable. For a family that has deicated so much of their time in raising money for MS to have their own daughter now be denied the medication that she needs to survive just sounds absurd to me. The McKinnons are trying to move Katie and her family home to Massachusetts to help her. But this costs money something which we all know to well is not easy to come by. But I think it may be time for someone else to pay it forward to a family that is always there for Salem. We are holding a benefit for Katie at the AOH on Washington Street in Salem this Saturday night, Septmeber 22nd. It starts at 7:00pm We have a dj, food and tons of raffles. The tickets are $20.00 at the door or you can prepurchse them at Sidelines tonight or Salem Liquors on Canal Street. When you are deciding what your plans should for Saturday night. Instead of going out and spending $20.00 bucks on nothing you will remember in a week, why not come spend that money at the benefit and help a friend. It's your turn to pay it forward. See you there!!! Peace out!!!