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Friends continue to lead by example

By the end of the day today the scores will be tallied, the baskets will all have been shot and the trophies will all have been raised.

The Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament will have bounced its way into and out of town once again.

The annual event attracts hundreds of people to downtown Ironton for the two-day tournament in a family friendly environment that puts fun above everything else.

But this wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of the Friends of Ironton, the grassroots civic organization that has been committed to injecting some life into the economy and creating entertainment and tourism draws for the region.

The Friends deserve a ton of credit because a lot goes into this and many hours are volunteered long before the first shot is ever taken. The Friends have taken on a variety of projects over the years including creating the Rally on the River motorcycle event, supporting other local organizations and creating the “sprayground” in downtown Ironton.

Say what you will about the Friends, but you cannot knock the group’s effort.

To borrow an analogy from a different sport, the group always swings for the fences when it comes to making a difference. And only rarely have they struck out, most notably the Oktoberfest event that never really took off.

Now the Friends once again are dreaming big and have their sights set on getting involved in the Ro-Na Theater restoration project. This is something we have long thought would be a positive for Ironton and Lawrence County but it is a huge undertaking.

This project will certainly benefit by having a group like the Friends of Ironton involved because of their track record in making a positive impact and guiding big projects through to completion.

The group has its work cut out for it, but I wouldn’t bet against the volunteers.

Each of us, as citizens, need to ask ourselves: What can we do to help?

As the Beatles said, we can all get by with a little help from our friends. But, we have to help them, too.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.