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Effingham shines
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Saturday morning was a perfect day, more than perfect for a late January day. The sun was shining, a few clouds floating in the sky, a little breeze and in this setting our Effingham Hospital — now known as Effingham Health System — brought the citizens of Effingham into their just completed expansion project.

Yes, there were dignitaries there but there must have also been 500 local citizens present to share their first look at the beautiful facility. Beyond the beauty, was the obvious functionality of new space. And, the enthusiasm of staff and the of the faithful pink lady group was obvious as they shared information and guidance with all who came to see and share.

Kudos must go to the CEO, our own Norma Jean Morgan, authority members (present and past), and local governmental authorities that provided support. We must also recognize that the citizens of Effingham County offered support. Yes, there were “nay-sayers” and I can only say that I hope they will take the time to visit the new facility (with or without the need for services now provided there).

I’m proud that we have seen this wonderful project completed, completed in just a few days and year after the ground breaking; and, even better, under budget.  I am glad that it is there when I more than likely, sooner or later, require the services there.

And, onto other things….

This has truly been a blue ribbon week for Effingham. On Jan. 23 and 24, our Chamber of Commerce sponsored its annual Effingham Day at the Capitol. There were good contacts made with the legislators and departments regarding the needs in Effingham.

On Jan. 24, the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau took part in the “Tourism Day” at the Capitol. Taking our message to legislators of other many historic sites and events in Effingham that are the heart of developing tourism.

On Jan. 26 night, a 10-member team from the Tourism Division of the Department of Economic Development made the presentation of the assessment and promotion of tourism in Effingham County to a group of more than 100. Their message, in a nutshell, is all that Effingham needs for tourism is: development to be ready, the sites/events are already here. And, finally that we, Effingham County, have a treasure trove of sites/events unlike most other places. It is our treasure to develop.

Folks, while times are tough for many in our county, we, in Effingham, have not had the tremendous downturn of the economy that other areas of our state and nation have experienced. Yes, we all want better times. In view of the above noted events it appears that it may be in our hands to do the work to improve our local economy. Government is not the force; the force is the will of people leading to positive action.

Do your part and get involved in our community.