Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2012, 2:53 pm

Editorial: Cheers & Jeers

Comment on this story

The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Gary Krambeck
Student representatives from 19 area high schools hold up a banner with the total of 767,455 pounds of food collected during the 27th annual Student Hunger Driver Finale Rally Party at the Riverbend Foodbank Thursday Nov. 8, 2012.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Todd Welvaert
Wade Hitchcock, East Moline, rings the bell for the Salvation Army outside the HyVee on John Deere Road in Moline, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. The Salvation Army has received its first gold coin of the season, dropped in the red kettle at Schnucks in Bettendorf. It's the first time a gold coin was found on the first day of The Salvation Army’s annual kettle drive.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
Alan Carmen retired from his economic development position with the City of Rock Island on November 2. While serving in the position Mr. Carmen helped realize several city projects including Schwiebert Park.
Cheers to the donor who kicked off the Salvation Army's Red Kettle drive by depositing a quarter-ounce American Golden Eagle coin on Day 1 of the drive.
The Salvation Army of the Quad-Cities tell us that it is the first time on record that a coin has been found on the first day. In addition to drawing attention to the Army's single most important fundraiser, the donation offers us offers a delicious mystery to solve as we encounter the ubiquitous kettles on our annual holiday shopping sprees.
It's about bragging rights. Though Crystal Lake, Ill. claims (courtesy of Wikipedia) to be the place that began the annual tradition of valuable, coins, jewelry and other tokens being deposited in Army kettles, a fair number of folks believe it began here first. We could use some proof. Donors are being as to think back to the first time they ever heard about a gold coin being dropped in a kettle here, and report back to Holly Nomura at 563-324-4808.
Of course, you don't have to have a long memory to help the Army meet its ambitious goal of $725,000 to provide vital services such as food and shelter to people with nowhere else to turn. First, if you see bell ringers, don't pass them by. Keep your pockets filled to fill the kettle. Also consider being a volunteer bell ringer. It's easy to sign up at www.ringbells.org.
If the Q-C helps Salvation Army meet its goal despite tough times, the cheers you'll be hearing won't only be from us; they'll be from those with nowhere else to turn.
Jeers to the news that a fixture in Moline for 80 years decided to quit. Last week, Jeff Holland, the owner of Holland Jewelers, 1833 52nd Ave. Moline, announced that "it is with a heavy heart" that he will shut down the jewelers that was started by his grandfather Maurice Holland in 1933. We share his sadness at the loss of a community staple and we thank the Holland family for its many years of serving our community. Sadly, family businesses like Holland are closing shop across the nation. When they do, communities lose more than another retail opportunity; they lose a multi-generational company whose ultimate goal is personal service. "I want to thank the Quad-Cities, my staff, and loyal customers for their support throughout the years," Mr. Holland said. "This was a great experience for my family. " And for us. We wish the Hollands luck in future endeavors. We'll miss our one-time downtown neighbor.
Cheers to the army of Quad-Cities teens from 19 high schools who collected a mind-boggling 767,455 pounds of food in the annual Student Hunger Drive.
Remarkably, the annual friendly competition managed to top the three-quarters of a million pounds of food teens gave to the River Bend Food Bank in 2011.
The students' efforts are huge for the agency which operates 300 feeding programs in 22 counties in Iowa and Illinois. We can't say enough about the schools and their staffs, and of course, the kids who drive this successful program.
We also hope that their efforts spark the community to remember the needs of the less fortunate. As impressive as those numbers are, consider that the three-quarters of a ton raised last year represented just 11 percent of the food bank's annual distribution. So don't let these teens show you up. This holiday season, add hungry Quad-Citians to you holiday gift-giving list.
Cheers to Alan Carmen, whose behind-the-scenes contributions helped make Rock Island a city of progress for a third of a century. After serving 32 years in a variety of posts, he retired Nov. 1 as planning and redevelopment administrator. His hand is in many things, including R.I.'s preservation success stories. A modest man, he prefers to credit others for the things that make Rock Island rock, but his efforts were central to making many of them happen. Diane Oestreich, a leading Q-C preservationist, said, "He was involved in things that have absolutely turned this community around in residential areas." He empowered others to take action, she said. As a result, Rock Island he said, is "thriving, rejuvenating, and to some degree, reinventing itself." That's thanks in no small measure to Mr. Carmen. He will be missed.