Our Voice: We're grateful for those who lead and for those who follow

There are lots of ways to show support for your community, but all of them require some people who are out in front of the cause and others who push quietly from the shadows.

Whether you're a leader or a follower, we're grateful for your contribution to our community.

Leadership Tri-Cities

Congratulations to Leadership Tri-Cities' newest graduating class. We continually are impressed with this group's graduating classes .

Two of the things we love about that program are the broad view of our community that it gives to the participants and the enthusiasm of the graduates to get involved in Mid-Columbia projects and agencies.

You don't have to participate in LTC to learn more about our community. You also don't have to graduate from the course to volunteer for a board, committee or service project.

The curriculum includes: agriculture, economic development, education, medical and health services, human needs and services, local and state government, law enforcement, media and the arts, and the Hanford site.

All of us could benefit by learning more about our community in these areas.

But there is incentive when you belong to a cohort. It's fun to look at the LTC web page and see the names of graduates over the past 18 years. It's also interesting to browse the classes' projects completed during nearly two decades.

Nominations for next year's class are closed. If it's something you're interested in, it's not too soon to be thinking about applying for the following year.

In the meantime, all of us could make the Tri-Cities an even better place to live by learning more about our community and volunteering our time and talents.

Fire aftermath

A fire in an apartment building with 65 units has claimed its spot in our history books. The Red Cross says this is the local chapter's biggest relief effort.

The shelter at Pasco High opened the same night as the fire broke out, giving displaced residents a safe place to stay and food to eat.

People have been generous with their donations of money and time, but the organization still is stretched thin.

The problems associated with getting back on your feet after an emergency linger long after the flames have been extinguished or the flood waters have receded.

The Red Cross is the relief organization, but it takes help from many people to operate the shelter, feed the crowds and organize the donations. We're grateful for the fast action of the Red Cross and its supporters. Visit www.redcross.org to learn ways to help.

Symphony changes

Despite our lack of a proper performing arts center, we're grateful to have a symphony -- and many other groups that perform for us.

After a few seasons at the Three Rivers Convention Center, the symphony is heading back to it's previous venue at Richland High School.

This will be an improvement for some patrons and performers, although it still is far from ideal.

We hope that down the road we will have a performing arts center in the Tri-Cities. In the meantime, we're grateful for the music.

We live in an area where nearly every weekend there are lots of entertainment options.

We appreciate that it takes effort and dedication to put these events on stage.

Love and money

Cassidy Almquist of Kennewick fell off a rope swing at a church camp where she was volunteering in mid-July. Since then, she has been in a hospital in Seattle.

The outpouring of love, support and money reflect that this young woman is loved and that our community is loving.

Dutch Bros. Coffee brought in almost $30,000 in one day for the teen's medical fund by donating the proceeds from its Kennewick coffee shops. Several other fundraisers are posted on the Facebook page, Praying for Cassidy.

The page itself had nearly 12,000 likes on Wednesday -- probably more than that now. We doubt all 12,000 of those people know this girl, but we do know that the Mid-Columbia will rally around people who need love and support.

We've seen it happen over and over again.

And we're grateful for it -- every single time.