What I learned from 2015

| December 21, 2015

There are some stories that become routine, but then there are the ones that stay with you and you hope touched your readers as much as they did you.

For me one of those stories in 2015 was covering the Tiverton Institute in March. I have to admit I admire the folks who have kept this 113 year tradition going, but I don’t always look forward to driving out there in the gloom of early spring for the event. Pooch Blackson changed that for me this year. The Coshocton icon jumped in to fill time by serenading guest speaker Emily Adams from the OSU Extension Coshocton County Office. I’d be surprised if he didn’t have everyone in the crowd smiling. I know he put a smile on my face and reminded me to think outside the box and that an event can always offer something new and exciting, even after more than 100 years.

Another event that warmed my heart in 2015 was the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner, specifically when Barb Emmons was named the 2015 Coshoctonian of the year.

She started hospice in Coshocton in 1986 and retired in December 2013 from what is now known as Health Services of Coshocton County and Hospice after 28 years of service.  However, Emmons will be the first to tell you that everything she accomplished during her career wasn’t done alone. It was done by working with others.

“I don’t work well as an individual,” Emmons said at the April 2015 event. “I’m more of a team worker and I’ve never worked with a better team than the group at Health Services of Coshocton.”

By working together we can achieve more, whether at our job or through volunteering in the community.

Another story that showed community spirit was my October update on Barney the duck who had a pretty rough 2014.

The Muscovy Duck used to reside at Lake Park, but in early September 2014 he was found with three arrows in him and his companion Betty was later found deceased. Kathy Milligan decided to take Barney under her wing and pay for his care out of her own pocket and through the help of donations from the community.

Barney is now living the good life with Milligan and even has a duck friend named Willie to hang out with. This is just one of many examples when someone in our community stepped up to help.

Coshocton native and country singer Casee Allen also stepped up to help charities. In November he performed two concerts at the Triple Locks Theater, charged only $5 for tickets and then donated all proceeds to three charities. He also was designating part of the money to send at least one wrestler from the elementary, junior high and high school levels to a camp.

At the concert Allen said he wanted to give back to Coshocton because without the support of his fans here, he wouldn’t have had the confidence to try Nashville.

Another person that tirelessly gives back to the community is Tom Roahrig and his family. The Roahrigs run Higher Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center. I volunteered there a handful of times when I first moved back to Coshocton in 2011. I’ve always wanted to go back, but haven’t had the chance. That doesn’t matter to Tom and Peggy Roahrig though. No matter how much or how little I’ve been able to give, they’ve always made me feel like I was part of the Higher Hopes family. Their kindness has made an impact on a lot of other people’s lives too. The Higher Hopes 15th annual auction on Dec. 5 wasn’t just a fundraiser. It also was a time to celebrate Tom and Peggy Roahrig’s 45th wedding anniversary and the card presented to them was filled with messages from their friends and family.

These are just a few of the stories that made an impact on me in 2015. If I can take anything away from them it would be to always look for the story behind the story and never forget where you’ve come from or the people who helped you get there because we can accomplish more as a team.

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Category: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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