CONSIDER THIS: Kudos to the Board of Trustees

Managing Editor

Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez

Like many of you who attended the Meet the Greyhounds community pep rally on Thursday, I too was surprised to see something I thought would never happen again – the San Benito CISD Board of Trustees successfully working together.

Trustees made the purple and gold faithful in attendance cheer when the board members collectively accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. For those who didn’t attend, we have a great photo capturing the priceless moment that’s prominently featured on the front page of this weekend’s edition. Because honestly, what’s bigger news in San Benito than seeing the folks who’ve long been under fire cooled off?

In all seriousness though, kudos to the trustees – Board President Arnold Padilla, Vice President Hector G. Leal, Secretary Oscar Medrano, and trustees Anna Cruz, Yliana González, Fatima Huerta and Angel Mendez – for taking on a worthy cause. ALS hit close to home earlier this year when a dear friend’s family lost a loved one to Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Sure, there’s an opportunistic element to the Board’s icing, especially since it served as good publicity (I’m writing favorably of the challenge, after all) during an otherwise tumultuous time for the school district. Still, it speaks volumes about the trustees putting aside their differences for a good cause and at the risk of public humiliation (have you seen some of those failed challenges?) if something were to go wrong. Understand that at this time last year, there was little the trustees did in a unified effort that actually brought smiles to their faces.

They even locked arms.

I’m also pleased to see videos of similar sights fill my Twitter and Facebook news feeds – this as opposed to the mean-spirited remarks from people whose only contribution to the cause has been to criticize and mock these efforts. Sure, there are plenty of goofy videos out there from folks who know little about ALS, let alone its devastating effects on the human body or its known links to the sports world. But why condemn an admirable effort that has proven to be an effective fundraising tool based solely on the fact that it’s gone viral?

Consider this: On Friday, USA Today reported that the Ice Bucket Challenge has, since July 29, helped the ALS Association raise $41.8 million compared to just $2.1 million during the same time last year. When coupled with the association receiving nearly 740,000 new donors, according to USA Today, the challenge appears to have some legitimacy behind it. This is money that will go toward research, support and aid for people suffering from ALS as well as their families.

If you remain unconvinced of the challenge’s positive impact, consider Joseph Garza, a 14-year-old Brownsville resident who’s living with the incurable disease. It’s a rather cruel fate for a boy to suffer – to lose all motor functions yet be 100 percent aware of his condition with no ability to communicate… save for maybe eye movement. If not for the challenge, would there have been awareness raised for Joseph? Would we have known that a young man from our little corner of the world contracted ALS? Would many of you even know what ALS is if not for all the hoopla?

I’ve also read many accounts about how the widespread awareness is considered just as valuable, if not more so than monetary donations.

So again, my hats off to the Board for getting involved. If the day should come that I’m challenged, I’d happily accept and would not hesitate to issue a challenge of my own. I’ve already thought of one friend, one colleague and, of course, Mayor Celeste Sanchez and San Benito City Commissioners Tony Gonzales, Joe D. Gonzalez, JD Penny and Rene Villafranco. After all, I believe our elected officials should always be in a position to set an example for their constituents to follow.


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    • Sally on August 27, 2014 at 6:47 am
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    to juan: You speak of priorities? How about the board not spend money on 3 superintendent contracts? How about they spend the money on quality salaries for our staff? How about they spend money on what is important for students’ to get ahead at school? How about all the other bad money decisions this board and the last board spent money on for their own benefit?
    Extra-curricular activities are the backbone of any school system. At least they are in the USA.

    • Cardenas on August 26, 2014 at 9:54 pm
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    Juan, you are right. That is of the utmost importance. I do, however, worry about uniforms and consider this subject as part of priorities. I would hate for my child, or anybody’s child, to be left on the sidelines because there were not enough uniforms for every child.

    • Juan on August 26, 2014 at 8:55 pm
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    They need to buy benches or chairs and tables for the students to eat at during lunch,don’t worry about uniforms for the band,think priorities.

    • Rosalinda G. Garcia on August 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm
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    I understood that the previous band director did ask for new uniforms and request was turned down this past school year. I agree with Cardenas. And didn’t the football program receive new uniforms at no cost to the district from that Nike contest that SB won? Or was that already several years ago? I am thinking that because the district did not spend on football uniforms, they could have transferred some of those funds into the band dept. for the purchase of band uniforms.

      • Howard Johnson on August 27, 2014 at 9:26 pm
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      Forget the Uniforms I wish I could hear the THE MIGHTY GREYHOUND BAND play the song Beginnings by Chicago. No lyrics just the song would be great. There got to be an electric organ somewhere in there. Even it be only in the stands .

    • Linda on August 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm
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    To Cardenas: so very true. I saw Anna Cruz and Oscar m there and no other board members or superintendent. That is not right! But when the band advances to San Antonio you can beat those other board members will ask to stay at a hotel so they can see the band and bring their family and relatives. They did that two years ago. Hey board members , you can’t fake it. Why come around because we all know what you really stand for now and it’s not band. Shame shame to all those board members and mr Limon for not coming on a Saturday night event. And to think these people have family members in the band and they still don’t show up. Wow! Oh, but they have time to NOT give us a pay raise, right, mr. Padilla? What a sad state of affairs these board members have created.

    • Cardenas on August 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm
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    Thank you board members for accepting the challenge. ALS research is severely underfunded and it deserves the spotlight. Thank you! Thank you!

    I do want to take this time to address the fact that only TWO board members attended the MIGHTY GREYHOUND BAND FALL PREVIEW! I’m surprised Fatima was not present since her nephew is a proud band member. It’s a shame that FOOTBALL is the only extracurricular that these people care about. New uniforms, new everything ALL THE TIME. But, heaven forbid these board members approve new uniforms for the band. When will band get the 110% support from this board? Why is it that music isn’t taken seriously when it’s been proven that music greatly affects and enhances our learning and living?! Please take the band program seriously. The students, parents and staff are working hard to make San Benito proud! We need your support too.

    “Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.” –Ludwig van Beethoven

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