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Letters to the Editor: February 4, 2012

Register as organ donor, support new donation program

From time to time, my family and I enjoy a meal out at a sit-down restaurant. With full tummies, it is very rare my sons, ages 3 and 6, do not escape without one balloon each in their favorite color. As most parents would groan at the sight of another annoying object to enter the home, my family takes a minute to remember Corrine Stein, also known as Gramma Stein to my sons. One by one Gavin and Benjamin send their balloons up to heaven for Gramma to catch. And believe me; Gramma Stein has caught many balloons since the summer of 2009.

Gramma Stein's life was tragically taken one evening in early July 2009. Our sadness for her death was made less knowing that it would mean life for someone else, as our family made the decision to donate her organs and tissue. These gifts of transplant enabled our one new friend to receive a kidney and the other to receive a liver and kidney.

But we know many other people are still waiting - some desperately - for the donation that could restore their health and hope.

Did you know more than 112,000 people in the United States need a life-saving organ transplant? Approximately 2,700 of those patients live in Minnesota. If more people register to be donors, more lives will be saved.

A new law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012 could significantly increase Minnesota's registry of donors, and help heal people battling organ failure, devastating burns, blindness and other serious conditions.

Minnesota residents can now contribute $2 to support public education about organ, tissue and eye donation when they apply for or renew their driver's licenses and ID cards. Known as the "You and $2" program, the law was modeled after successful initiatives in other states.

Contributions to "You and $2" will be distributed to organizations like LifeSource - the statewide nonprofit responsible for managing organ and tissue donation in our region - to help increase awareness about the need for more people to sign up and save the lives of others.

One small aspect of awareness is sharing the legacy of Gramma Stein's gifts and the extensive journey of Bill Carlson's road to receiving a heart transplant in June 2009. Together Bill and I, (Corrine's daughter) routinely volunteer our time to explain the facts of organ and tissue donation to groups such as driver's education students.

We know Gramma Stein's gifts have saved lives and that has helped us deal with our loss. We hope this letter inspires people to register as organ donors and contribute to the "You and $2" program. With these simple steps, every individual can make a difference in someone else's life, and leave a legacy of hope and healing.

Holly Kluver; Farmington, Minn.

Objection to language in MAHS one act

My wife and I went to the one act play, "The Ice Fishing Play," on Friday evening, Jan. 27.

There was some fairly good acting by some of the cast but we found the plot pretty sad, but what really disappointed us was the excessive use of foul and objectionable language which did nothing but downgrade the story which was weak to start with.

What is this kind of vulgar language teaching the young kids who were there?

I hope the judges were as disgusted with the play as we were.

If they did approve of it and this is the type of play that will come to us in the future, we will not be attending any more plays.

If anyone else who attended either performance feels as we do, please contact the school or any member of the school board and voice your concern. Thank you.

Wally Redfield; Morris, Minn.

I am writing this letter to encourage you to attend a precinct caucus.

I have attended enough caucuses over the years to know the percentage of voters that make the effort to participate in the process.

Our forefathers gave us the opportunity through the constitution to take part in our government decisions. If we don't make this opportunity into a personal obligation to participate in formation of government policy, then we are blindly accepting someone else's plan. That is the way people live under a dictatorship. It is only our moral commitment to be involved that controls the future of our world.

Seeing the lack of participation, one would think that everyone is happy with what the government is doing. At the coffee shops and on the streets, everyone is complaining. There seems to be a conflict somewhere.

It's time for all of us to get involved in the greatest government process ever formed in this world or just stop complaining and take whatever we get.

Steve Fults; Morris, Minn.