Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2000

The Explorer misprepresented the fireworks controversy

Letter to the Editor

July 6, 2000

In response to your view regarding the local controversy of the sale of fireworks, I feel compelled to point out some of the errors and hypocritical folly surrounding it.

As stated, the DeSoto Watermelon Festival Committee clearly had its collective heart in the right place. Perhaps its collective brain didn't ask all the questions before embarking on this issue, but obviously neither did The DeSoto Explorer.

a) TRUE: The idea of raising funds for the DeSoto Watermelon Festival through the sale of fireworks was considered. However, the decision to REJECT this idea had been made PRIOR to the June 29, publication of the DeSoto Explorer.

b) FALSE: The DeSoto Watermelon Festival set up a stand in Leavenworth County on Friday, June 30, in order to unethically obtain tainted funds with which to more generously line its coffers.

c) TRUE: It's a two-way street between buyer and seller and no party is guiltier than the other.

d) TRUE: The DeSoto Explorer provided advertising space to two fireworks vendors promoting and soliciting the sale of illegal fireworks to DeSoto residents (read: Johnson County residents) while at the same time comparing the DeSoto Watermelon Festival Committee to street-walkers intent on luring local residents to make illegal purchases.

See item "c" above. On the tightrope of ethics, the middleman can surely be held as accountable as those whose company he keeps especially if one considers that regardless of these ethical convictions, he personally benefits financially from the association (read: paid advertisement).

e) FALSE: The DeSoto Watermelon Festival Committee are like street walkers and drug dealers and would compromise the integrity or ethics of their community to "score" easier, larger funds with less effort.

f) TRUE: The DeSoto Watermelon Festival Committee is made up of a hardworking group of individuals.

Each of them freely donates their time and energies to achieve a common goal: providing the citizens of DeSoto and our neighbors the opportunity to enjoy and entertaining, fun-filled, wholesome, family-oriented, 3-day community celebration during the last weekend of August. Every committee before them and every committee to follow are entitled to our gratitude. It takes time, it takes planning, it takes effort, and yes, it takes money.

g) TRUE: The DeSoto Watermelon Festival Committee would not be able to put on the annual festival were it not for fundraisers, donations (business and private), and the support of the community.

Perhaps The DeSoto Explorer would like to set an example for all potential benefactors by putting its heart where its mouth is; namely, the weekly paper. What a generous service it would be if our hometown-community-minded paper were to provide information, pro bono, to its citizens pertaining to DeSoto's annual celebration.

This would benefit everyone full-circle! The subscribers and individuals that purchase single copies in the DeSoto Community would benefit by receiving information that fosters community involvement's resulting in a stronger, more successful event.

The DeSoto Watermelon Festival Committee would benefit by allowing hard-won advertising dollars to be channeled to equally critical areas, and The DeSoto Explorer would benefit from the sweet reward of publicity supporting the ethical endeavor of a community celebration honoring those you proclaim to serve. Here's a "sweeter" benefit.

The DeSoto Watermelon Festival Committee will gladly throw in some of those cupcakes!

Betty Tyler, DeSoto

Watermelon Festival Committee

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