COMMUNITY'S GOOD AT HEART OF GRAY

June 19, 2001 12:00 am

Communitys good

at heart of GRAY

A group of volunteers is demonstrating what can be accomplished when people work together for a common cause.

The Grande Ronde Association for Youth GRAY Group is on a mission to improve the quality and number of ball fields available to youth groups throughout the county. The group should be commended for its spirit of community and its ability to pull several interests together youth baseball, softball and soccer.

The year-old groups first priority has been to improve the condition of existing fields at Greenwood, at Willow and La Grande High School. The volunteers have also helped improve fields in Imbler and Union. The next step is expanding the number of fields available at Pioneer Park.

GRAY Group has brought together representatives of Little League and soccer groups that in many communities go their separate ways. But people like Pete Caldwell, GRAY chairman and a softball dad, Jonel Ricker, a Little League coach, and Paul Sieders, GRAY vice chairman and soccers field manager, have demonstrated that people with varied interests can work together for the sake of kids.

It was once said five years ago that baseball and softball and soccer could not get together and get anything done, Caldwell said. The same thing about La Grande and the county. But we formed the group and started working on a priority list.

The group has lasted a year and is the impetus for various grant opportunities. The groups efforts demonstrate to grant providers that the projects have community support, which usually weighs heavily in deciding how money should be dispersed.

The group admits, though, that it could benefit from more volunteer support. GRAY Group has its sights set on building a sports complex similar to ones in Baker City, Ontario and Vale. But it needs people to get the job done.

Anyone looking for a volunteer outlet thats working on behalf of the community need look no further than the GRAY Group. It is doing the community proud.

VALUE 1ST AMENDMENT

News from the Arent we glad we live in America? file: BEIJING, China (AP) An editor at a popular Chinese newspaper has been fired and journalists forced to undergo political instruction, part of what observers say is a new clampdown on the news media.

The editors firing came after he approved articles that exposed corruption among health officials and business regulators. Two weeks ago two top editors at one of Chinas most prominent newspapers were dismissed following official complaints about their articles.

Americans might grow frustrated with the media at times, but they never should lose sight of the value of the First Amendment, guaranteeing press freedom.