Archive for Thursday, December 2, 2004

Investing in youth benefits everyone

December 2, 2004

Looking out for our children pays dividends in lots of ways.

Consider some of the recent news stories from Lansing.

This fall, Lansing High School Lions football finished the season with an 8-3 record and their first trip to a regional bidistrict playoff. It was a successful season by any measure.

But another story behind the story of this year's memorable season was the creation of a youth football program in 1997. That program started with the initiative of one person, John Warner. He carried his idea to Lansing City Council and got its support and a commitment to ensure its longevity. Thus was born a program that helped to develop players who were important to the Lions' success this fall.

So the connections are important. This case involved an individual with initiative and a commitment of city government support to young players who ultimately gave the entire city a point of pride.

We see the tangible results when we can all see the Lions winning and call them "our team."

But the final won-lost record of a season is somewhat beside the point. We think it's just as important to see how this season illustrates the importance of the support our kids have received from both city leaders and private individuals. When we sow the seeds, good things happen.

And last week we learned how the city would be continuing support for our children in another way. Lansing is on the verge of acquiring land earmarked for a new park. Details are still tentative, but officials envision a major sports complex on this land. Baseball, soccer, football fields and an aquatic center are possibilities for the 120 acres. The park won't be just for children, but clearly they will be key beneficiaries. And when the city provides them with more possibilities, more opportunities to excel, we all will benefit.

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