Waynedale Political Commentaries


We’ve had a real cold spell this fall that is reminding me that the winter holiday season is just around the corner. We have already filled our Christmas Bureau spots with children from our client families. And we have changed up our holiday routine this year by holding our annual party on October 12 when a wonderful time was had by all at our 1st Annual Family Fun Day. As promised we made that event mostly about music, fun and entertainment rather than holiday gift-giving. Now several community partners have stepped up to help us give gifts for the rest of the children of our client families who come to the township.

I often think back to my childhood, when the adults in my family had to really stretch to come up with Christmas gifts for all eleven of us children. Though they tried to hide it, I now realize that it was a struggle for them. But nobody wants to disappoint their children, and I fondly remember all of the Christmases however bountiful they may have been.

Lately I have been thinking about some of the more commercial aspects surrounding the holidays. Thanksgiving will be soon and the day after that is known in the retail world as Black Friday. The following Monday has become known as Cyber Monday, the biggest day for shopping online. And then there is a particular favorite of mine, Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday was first observed in the United States on November 27, 2010 to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize their small and local ‘brick and mortar’ businesses. The first event was sponsored by American Express, in partnership with the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2010, the holiday was promoted by American Express in a nationwide radio and television advertising campaign. Many local politicians and small business groups in the United States issued proclamations. The movement was a success, and Small Business Saturday has been going ever since.

I like the idea of promoting small and local businesses in part because, as a township trustee, I realize the value of living and doing business on a local level. After all cities, towns, and townships are the governments closest to the people. Like with a locally-owned business, if you have a comment or an idea you can call or visit your local township trustee office and talk to someone person-to-person. Local government and local businesses are the most accountable to the people. They truly care about what you think.

The day after Thanksgiving has become known as Black Friday. As the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In order to take advantage of this, virtually all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales and promotions to try to bring in shoppers. Stores extend their open hours in order to maintain an edge or to simply keep up with the competition. Such hours may include opening as early as 12:00 midnight or remaining open overnight on Thanksgiving Day and beginning sale prices at midnight.

Indiana is one of twenty-four states that have made “The Day after Thanksgiving” an official holiday for state government employees. That day off work, usually takes the place of Columbus Day when state government offices remain open. This year, as we have done every year since 2007, the Wayne Township Trustee Office will open their doors on that Friday and be available for emergency needs. We don’t make appointments that day as we work with just a skeleton crew of department directors, but I think it’s important that our office not be closed for two days in a row. So, if you or someone you know are in need that day, we are here for you.

Lastly I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Maybe you already have big plans for feasting that day, but if not; our whole community works to ensure everyone finds a warm and delicious repast. I’d like to mention just a few places where people looking for a good Thanksgiving meal can head to this season. On Saturday, November 23rd the “Dinner of Thanksgiving” will be held at Pilgrim Baptist Church at 1331 Gay Street from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. This is a feast that was originally started by our own LeRoy Page and his wife Sylvia. LeRoy worked here at Wayne Township as Director of Employment, and we’ve missed him since his passing in 2017.

And this from the website of St Mary Mother of God Church: “The Annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner will be held on November 28, 2019.  The day will begin with Mass at 9am, and then the dinner will be served from 11am until 1pm.  Carryout is available from 1-1:30pm.  If you would like to help with the day, please call the church office at 260-424-8231.  All are welcome to attend.”

These are just a few of the Thanksgiving Dinner opportunities here in Fort Wayne. Everyone should be able to find a place to celebrate their own gratitude for life’s goodness. Thank you!

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Richard A. Stevenson - Wayne Township Trustee

Wayne Township Trustee Rick Stevenson was elected Trustee in November of 2006 and took office in January of 2007. He is very passionate about helping those in need and considers it a privilege to be in a position to be able to help. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer