Lots to celebrate

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I've known Bob Basler from his dedication to the United Way board, and he's been a key contributor to it and many other organizations over the years. A week ago, he was recognized at the annual dinner of Saint Francis Medical Center for his leadership in the hospital's Little Reasons campaign to expand care for critically ill newborns. Under Basler's chairmanship, more than $2 million was raised. Great job, Bob.

Around 950 people turned out for the annual dinner, where the center's chief executive officer Steve Bjelich talked proudly -- understandably so -- about the many accomplishments and awards earned by Saint Francis staff. Foundation board president Harry Rediger did an excellent job emceeing the event.

Special tribute was offered by both Rediger and Bjelich to hospital staff for their generosity in supporting the local community. Beyond their daily service in the important field of health, nearly 1,000 employees have made commitments to the local United Way, pledging a total of $131,497 this year. That's a spectacular amount.

KFVS marks 50 years

The TV station is in the midst of celebrating its half-century mark. A story in the Missourian earlier this month charted the development of the station, which continues to be a pacesetter in this market, especially for TV news.

It hasn't been the easiest year for general manager Mike Smythe, however. He has received quite a bit of flak for events out of his control, starting with the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" during the Superbowl and continuing through Dan Rather's bizarre defense of CBS using faked documents. But anyone in the media business either develops a thick skin or moves on to do something else. And Mike Smythe is one of the best at what he does. The same can be said about the news and creative teams at KFVS.

Newspaper people often latch onto unflattering stereotypes about TV people, and vice-versa. But both usually recognize when someone is good at what they do, and the folks at KFVS are exceptionally good at what they do. Congratulations on 50 strong years.

Anniversary events

One of the ways that KFVS has been an important part of the community over the years is by drawing attention to big events. On Nov. 17, a special event will be coming to the Show Me Center, co-sponsored by KFVS and the Southeast Missourian, and one dollar of every ticket sold will go to the United Way. I've written about this show before, but I'll do so again, because I was wowed recently watching more clips of the band. It's the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and it promises to be an event fun for the whole family.

If you don't have tickets yet or want to know more about the performance, call the Show Me Center today.

Another Southeast Missourian anniversary event this week is the opening of an exhibition at the River Heritage Museum on Saturday. A special reception is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibition kicks off during a special weekend of activities at several historic landmarks in Cape Girardeau. For only $5, you can buy a pass that allows you to enter and tour the Glenn House, the Red House Interpretive Center, Old Lorimier Cemetery, Old St. Vincent's Church and the Cape River Heritage Museum. Individual tickets to these landmarks would normally cost you $12.50.

The weekend special, titled "Rediscover Your Cape" is being sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. You can buy tickets at any of the attractions or in advance at the CVB, Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce or the Southeast Missourian.

See you there!

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian.

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