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Impressed Once Again (by You!)

Dear Toombs/Montgomery County Community: I’ve lived here my whole life and have attended at least three decades of Onion Festivals in the past. They are always awesome to me, and I love the opportunity to invite my friends and colleagues and show off our community. You always put on a great show. This year, you didn’t disappoint. The hospitality, the events, the community spirit and the volunteers, many of whom started planning in the summer of last year to pull this event off, made this year extra sweet. I even saw ordinary patrons picking up trash to keep the area looking amazing while our guests were here. And the weather — it could not have been more perfect!

I knew I wanted to write this letter praising you as a community and settled down to do so last week, but before I could finish, you impressed me as a community once again. The storms last week were intense. I’ve never sought shelter in an interior room during any past area storm I recall. That certainly changed last Thursday. I watched the trees sway, as many of you did, out a window through a half-closed closet door. Then, almost as quickly as they came on, the storms were gone. And you, the Toombs/Montgomery County Community showed up and showed out again. Our county and city governments worked together lending equipment to clear roads. If the tree wasn’t in their jurisdiction, it didn’t matter — it needed to be cleared. Our utility workers partnered quickly and brought extra hands to get power restored. Area businesses and industries opened their charitable coffers to provide emergency assistance. As always, our community’s nonprofit agencies were there to help immediately. Neighbors were out with chainsaws to clear damage, add tarps to cover roofs, or just clean up yards. Seeing all of you pull for each other caused me to feel the same pride for our community I feel inside when I hear those Blue Angels buzz overhead at an Onion Festival.

We certainly have our issues. As family, we know those issues better than anyone. But when help was really needed, you were there, again, and I’m so proud to be a part of you.

While I hope our community doesn’t experience this kind of storm again, the pride I felt watching you, our community, respond makes me so happy to live right here with you. Blake Tillery

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