Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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WHERE I STAND:

A Father’s Day gift for Dad, kids

Today is Father’s Day.

I think of my father every day, but especially today. He would always write a Father’s Day column that was worth reading.

I am re-publishing a column he wrote June 15, 1986, about the Las Vegas Sun Camp Fund and what it takes to be a father of the year. All you need to do is help a child. It was true 26 years ago, and it is even more true today, when the needs are so much greater.

There are a lot of needy kids depending on Las Vegas’ next fathers of the year. Please don’t let them down.

By Hank Greenspun

Father of the Year.

Make this Father’s Day a real celebration, as it should be, because a father’s life is not an easy one. He serves in many ways. Just taking out the garbage isn’t one of his primary functions.

No one on earth can love a child more than a father, with the possible exception of a mother. So bring Dad a precious gift to show the love you bear him in return.

There is nothing more precious than making him Father of the Year because, of all the rewards a man can gain, being an exceptionally good father is the ultimate distinction.

There are plenty of children who do not have fathers to honor on this day, nor do they know the warmth of a father’s embrace. So while you gladden Dad’s heart with your own expression of love, there are ways to make your dad a father to some other little fellow or girl. It could make him Father of the Year.

Al Wild and his group of helpers brought in checks and cash totaling $7,500 as a contribution to the Sun Camp Fund. This is a yearly project for Al. ... It is the largest amount collected by him since Al started some years ago.

Seventy-five young people, many of them fatherless, will now have an opportunity to enjoy a campership, which would be denied them if people like Al were not around to recognize the worthiness of the project.

This year’s effort more than qualified Al for the coveted title of Father of the Year because he has taken many youngsters off the streets of Las Vegas at a time when temperatures soar in the hundreds and tempers explode into violence.

It’s a way of reaching out to touch someone, and what nobler purpose can there be than touching the heart of a child?

We have been touching the hearts of Southern Nevadans for the past 16 years by giving them the privilege of contributing to the needy and handicapped, who get a chance to get off the streets and into the hills and mountains, where they can breathe the sweet, fresh air and play with others their age in wholesome surroundings.

It’s an investment in children, and it might even save you from getting robbed in the future by giving young people an opportunity to enjoy the better things in life. It is a fact that more crimes are committed because of the heat, usually by young people who know no other life than the streets.

There are many well-to-do people who are continually in search of tax shelters. What better shelter can you find than sheltering a child? When you send a young boy or girl to camp, you might be sheltering them from unhappiness, abuse, neglect or even the possibility of getting involved in petty mischief, which can develop into criminal conduct.

The Sun Camp Fund offers a legitimate tax shelter — a deduction that isn’t phony and contrived for the purpose of avoiding taxes.

Our high priority right now is to help about 700 needy or handicapped children to get out of the 105- to 110-degree heat and into the mountains where they can hike, study nature and be with other kids their age in one of childhood’s happiest experiences.

It’s a tax deduction you can hardly refuse. If 500 people gave $100 each, we’d be halfway to our goal of $100,000. If 5,000 citizens gave $10 each, it would put us over the top. If 100,000 people gave only $1, we’d be most grateful for the opportunity of sending all who would like to go and do not have the means because their families have to scrape to put food on the table.

In the past, we’ve had kids sending in their allowances to help other children. One year, two little boys put up a lemonade stand and sent the proceeds to help a fellow child.

So, when you give Dad a gift and he tells you how much he loves you and how you fill his heart with joy, remind him that he could make some needy or fatherless kid just as happy by sending in a contribution. Tell him about the little kids who don’t have your opportunities.

If Dad wants to show how much he really cares for you, then he has to care about all the little kids in the world, and there’s no nobler way than to send a needy child to summer camp.

Become a Father of the Year. Think about little kids a lot less fortunate than the children who can ask their moms for $10 or $15 to go out and spend it on a gift to make Dad happy.

Make all kids happy and this will be the best Father’s Day you ever had.

We wish it to you with all our hearts.

Brian Greenspun is publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun.