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Our Opinion: Opening doors

June 21, 2002

The Imperial County Sheriff's Activities League recently took a number of Imperial Valley kids to a San Diego Padres' game, giving them an opportunity to get out of the Valley for a few hours, enjoy cooler weather and just have a good time.

We'd like to credit the SAL and all law enforcement agencies with such activities leagues because they are providing an important service, in particular during the summer months, when kids find themselves with much more free time on their hands. SAL organizers have said this summer they are planning to take kids to places such as Huntington Beach and Magic Mountain.

The fact that the agency would commit to such outings is important for young people because it gives them something to look forward to, and not all young people in the Valley have chances on their own to visit areas outside the Valley. They need such programs to give them a sense of what is beyond the desert Southwest. When they can see beyond the desert, they can have a hope that whatever dreams they may have can become a reality.

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That is what the Sheriff's Activities League and all other police activities leagues are doing every day. They are giving kids a chance to hope and dream and have new experiences. Program organizers deserve much credit for giving of themselves to kids, who will remember those who cared enough to help them. Many of these kids hopefully will grow up to help other young people.

When you give even a little bit to a young person it is the beginning of a cycle in which that young person will give to someone else, and so on.

We look forward to seeing such programs continue to play such a key role in the Imperial Valley. We look forward to seeing them expand and be able to serve more young people. There are a lot of kids in need of positive role models and in need of positive activities to keep them busy and off the streets.

If programs such as the SAL and PALs throughout the Imperial Valley can reach even a few of the kids, then they are doing their job.

We have seen the benefits reaped as kids have had a chance to attend baseball games, camps and go on trips that expand their experiences. We have talked to those kids and seen firsthand how much these activities mean to them, and that in return will mean a lot to the Valley.

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