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The Meck Report: Huckabee challenges community to invest in children - The Dothan Progress - May 8, 2008

THE DOTHAN PROGRESS - Thursday - May 8, 2008
Huckabee challenges community to invest in children

By Elaine Brackin

Progress Managing Editor

The Wiregrass Children’s Home provides a safe haven for children who have been abandoned, neglected or abused. The facility, and those like it, wouldn’t be needed if this was a perfect world. But, says Mike Huckabee, the world is far from perfect, and facilities like the WCH are needed.

“The Wiregrass Children’s Home wouldn’t exist if every child grew up in a home with loving parents,” said Huckabee as he addressed those attending a benefit for the Wiregrass Children’s Home this past Thursday night in the Dothan Convention Center. “It won’t go out of business. We live in a broken world.”

Huckabee, who made an un-successful bid to gain the Republican Party’s nomination for president, came to Dothan at the invitation of Mike and Sandy Schmitz. He also came because children, and especially their welfare, are matters dear to his heart.

“I’m a pro-life person,” Huckabee said. “I’m against abortion. But, more than that, I am pro life. We are endowed by our Creator. He elevated us. We are not worth more or less than anyone else.”

Drawing from the code of the U.S. military, which does not allow for fallen comrades to be left behind on the battlefield, Huckabee says that is the way the majority of citizens of this nation look at life.

“We don’t value people based on their function,” the former Arkansas governor said. “We say life has purpose, value and meaning because of who he is - one of us. We value and elevate every human life. I’m proud we’re that type of country.

“Life has value from the time it is conceived. Value doesn’t end at birth. We value, honor and celebrate a child’s worth.”

Unfortunately, Huckabee noted, not every parent places great value on a child’s life.

“Some parents in Dothan have decided a kid doesn’t have value,” Huckabee said. “At the Wiregrass Children’s Home, kids have value. It’s really important to have a net for kids to fall into.”

Huckabee added that a community will get involved in the life of child - either through education or incarceration.

“Lower taxes and less government are directly tied to the level of a society having social fabric,” Huckabee said.

He illustrated his point by creating two mythical towns - Huck Town and Meckville. The first was characterized by its citizens living responsibly. It was a “good” town, Huckabee noted. In the second, Huckabee stated there were major problems.

“In Meckville, the social fabric has broken down,” Huckabee said. “Because of a few, we regulate everybody.

“This same idea applies to the Wiregrass Children’s Home. The more children get a chance in life and know they are loved, the less likely they are to cost you money. A bed at the Wiregrass Children’s Home is less than that of a jail bed.”

“One year in prison will cost more than putting someone through a four-year college or university,” Huckabee continued. “Taxpayers fund those jail beds. Which do you think is the better investment? It’s an economic issue. It is less expensive to invest in a child now than when they become incarcerated (as juveniles or adults).”

To emphasize the importance of investing in a child’s life, Gov. Huckabee shared the story of a visit his family made to Israel several years ago. He took his wife, Janet, and their three children, John Mark, David and Sarah, to the Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, in Jerusalem. At the end of the visit, Huckabee noted that the memorial had a guest book. His daughter was 12 at the time of the visit. He stood behind her, anxious to see what she would write in the guest book. What he saw left a mark on his heart.

“My daughter,” Huckabee said, “wrote these words - ‘Why didn’t somebody do something?’

“Everybody doing something makes all the difference in the difference in the world. We can do something. We hope what happens here is about what we can do - we can invest in a child.”

For more information about the Wiregrass Children's Home, visit www.WiregrassChildrensHome.com

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Courtesy: The Dothan Progress

Posted by The Meck / The Meck Report
www.TheMeck.com


The Meck Report: Huckabee teams with Schmitz to help children - The Dothan Progress - May 1, 2008

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THE DOTHAN PROGRESS - Thursday - May 1, 2008
Huckabee teams with Schmitz to help children
By Elaine Brackin / Progress Managing Editor

It’s all about the children.

That could easily be the marching orders for tonight’s gathering, headlined by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckbee, to benefit the Wiregrass Children’s Home.

Huckabee, who served as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007, will bring his message of hope and inspiration to the Dothan Convention Center for “An Evening with Mike Huckabee.” He’s coming at the invitation of Mike Schmitz, owner of the Mike Schmitz Automotive Group, which is underwriting Huckabee’s appearance. The two were introduced by mutual friend, David Meckley, who has known Huckabee for more than 30 years. Their friendship dates back to their days as team members in the James Robison Ministry. Meckley used Huckabee’s appearance in Montgomery earlier this year to unite his two friends. The seed for tonight’s event was planted during that meeting.

“We’re blessed to have someone on the national stage come for this event,” Schmitz said as he explained how tonight’s fund-raising event took shape. “This event is not about politics. It’s about the children.”

Schmitz added Huckabee, a native of Hope, Ark., had an outstanding record on children’s issues while he was governor of Arkansas. That, says Schmitz, makes his appearance in support of the Wiregrass Children’s Home even more special to him.

“He did many outstanding things in Arkansas for children,” said Schmitz. “He did a lot to improve the education system in that state.”

Schmitz says tonight’s benefit program serves two purposes.

“First, it’s about raising money for the Wiregrass Children’s Home,” Schmitz said. “We also want to raise (community) awareness about the home, which has been in existence for 17 years. During that time, the home has served the needs of close to 700 children.

“We will use this event to tell our story. Eighty-five percent of the funding for the Wiregrass Children’s Home comes from this community.”

“We want to take this opportunity to tell our community thank you for supporting this home.”

Reflecting on his own background of dealing with separation from his family as a young person, Schmitz says the Wire-grass Children’s Home is more than just a community cause for him

“It’s personal,” Schmitz said of his involvement with the Wiregrass Children’s Home. “I know what these kids go through. Fortunately, I was adopted into the right family.”

While the facility is not “home” in the truest sense of the word, Schmitz says the Wiregrass Children’s Home provides a safe, loving environment for children who have faced a traumatic upheaval in their young lives.

“It’s a Christian facility,” Schmitz said. “It affords the children the opportunity feel secure. They know they are prayed over to be put in the right place.

“This facility is a blessing. And, through the wonderful attitude and commitment of our community, we will stay open.”

The event begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased at Impact Fitness, Toyota of Dothan and Mike Schmitz Automotive Group.

The VIP Reception will be held from 5:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m. The cost is $250 per person and will include a photo made with Mike Huckabee plus a signed copy of his latest book, “From Hope to Higher Ground.”

For more information or tickets, call 334 794-6716.
All ticket sales are donated to Wiregrass Children’s Home.
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Courtesy: The Dothan Progress

Posted by The Meck / The Meck Report
www.TheMeck.com