Thanks to the groups that work to better the Tri-Cities

Often this space is dedicated to honoring individuals making a difference in our community.

We don't often think to thank our public agencies and other organizations. Maybe we take them for granted, or maybe we just fail to recognize the good that they do.

So here are a few examples of agencies and groups making good this week.

Citizens for power

You don't want to pay more for electricity than you have to. Nobody does. But most of us aren't lobbying the Legislature about it.

A local group -- Protecting Our Washington Energy Rates, or POWER -- spearheaded by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and other interests, is gathering support across the state to put some sense into the Energy Independence Act, which state voters approved in 2006.

The group represents businesses and residential consumers -- in other words, us.

It's not trying to undo the law, but if the effort is successful, it will give some relief to power customers in the Mid-Columbia for the next 15-20 years.

We'll be watching to see what comes from the efforts over the next few months.

In the meantime, we're grateful for organizations that look out for us.

Duck race

This weekend seems to be a busy one for several organizations that look out for the community. One is the Rotary Duck Race and, no, it's not too late to buy tickets.

Whether your duck wins a prize is irrelevant to the good feeling you get by helping out our community. And the free event in Columbia Park is fun to attend.

Yes, most of us have a "raffle mentality" that encourages us to spend a little money in hopes of winning one of the many prizes.

But stronger than that is the desire to help out.

You don't have to be a mathematical genius to know that your chances of winning aren't great. Thousands of people buy a duck just to donate to local causes.

Other fundraisers

A heads-up to other worthwhile causes you can participate in this weekend include the Tri-Cities Cancer Center and Lourdes Foundation's "Fill the Cups" ride to help fund free mammograms for uninsured women in our community.

There also is a fundraiser for 3-month-old Olivia Clawson at the Sandburg Event Center in West Richland, Think Pink event at the Kennewick Red Lion and the Buddy Walk to raise awareness about Down syndrome at Howard Amon Park in Richland.

The point is this weekend -- and every weekend -- in the Tri-Cities, groups and organizations are raising money and awareness for other people and good causes.

There's probably one that you could feel good about getting behind.

Cavalcade of Bands

Lots of events are annual shindigs. And it takes a lot of volunteers to pull off any one of them. So when you can get a five- or 10-year streak going, you're doing good.

One of these annual events, which happens to fall on the first Saturday in October, has been entertaining the Mid-Columbia (and pulling in thousands of visitors) for more than three decades.

We're talking about the Cavalcade of Bands. If you like music or showmanship or supporting kids, it's a great way to spend all or part of your Saturday.

It's an all-day event that brings 24 high school marching bands from around the Northwest to Pasco's Edgar Brown Stadium.

The organizations in our community do a great job of pulling events together, week in and week out.

We like that there is always something to do and some way to be involved in helping others and improving the situation.