Sandwich, IL
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What doesn't kill me makes me stronger

This week’s cover story about Sandwich man Garrett Gilkey is a classic example of the old saying “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”

I gave the story to reporter Doug Oleson because he is much more knowledgeable about football than I. Neither of us had any idea starting out that the story was so much more than a football story. Clearly, Doug was impressed with Garrett’s ability to move past the bullying he suffered in high school.

I’m guessing the topic was not as prevalent as it is today. Besides, what boy wants to admit he’s being or has been the object of bullying? For that matter, what girl wants to admit it?

In my opinion, Garrett is the bigger man, not only for moving beyond it and finding success both in the classroom and on the field, but for sharing his story. He’s willing to share his story, and how his faith continues to sustain him, not only with a reporter, but in public forums.

Now there’s a public speaker I would like to hear.

My fingers are crossed that Garrett finds a home with an NFL team. I wish him the best. He seems like a good role model.

Doug also spoke with a Sandwich High football player who will join the team at Eureka College next year. Read about him next week.

And speaking of role models, while we didn’t delve too deeply into the subject, Lora Bendik of Happy Hounds fosters cats for Spay Illinois. With several pets of her own, she takes in cats awaiting their forever homes.

I’m not sure I could do that. I would fear getting too attached, but Lora loves it. If the cats that stay at the shop are any indication, she has plenty of love to give her own pets and those awaiting homes.

And I’m sure she would provide information on fostering for anyone interested. She can certainly provide information on grooming and nutrition at her new shop in Plano. Read more about Happy Hounds this week on page 8.

Stay warm, have a great week and enjoy this issue of the Valley Free Press.

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