Our Voice: We're thankful for those who keep traditions alive

Show business

Good things can happen even after someone is gone and often because they are gone.

Katie Gillette was born in the Tri-Cities with cystic fibrosis. The chances of her living to adulthood were statistically poor, but she had a dream of becoming an entertainer.

Her family moved to Los Angeles so she would have more opportunities for training and networking. Shortly before she died at the age of 14, she asked her mom to help other kids to realize that dream.

So kids who get to participate in the August acting workshop in Richland can thank Katie and her mom.

And the many would-be actors who have passed through the Los Angeles-based Performers House can also be grateful.

We have to think that Katie would be happy that her mother, Christy, has honored her wishes.

Tradition of rescue

Three generations of the Hendricks family keep a watchful eye on the Columbia Cup and help with rescues. It has become a family tradition. Add another couple of hundred people to that number and you have a large and dedicated team that tries to keep drivers and spectators safe on the race course.

The team spends hours waiting for nothing to happen.

But, ultimately, their services are needed.

People on the shore see racing boats. Rescuers see the water, the wind and the hazards. And they must react with precision when the unthinkable -- and inevitable -- happens.

We appreciate those who take on that responsibility so the rest of us can relax and enjoy the show.

Water Follies wrap-up

Our Fast Focus question last week asked about your favorite part of boat race weekend. The most popular response to that question was, "When it's over." But the thousands of fans in our parks last weekend tell a different story.

Clearly many people enjoy the races, the air show, the art show, the water and the sun.

There's a lot that goes into the preparation and execution of a large event. Only the organizers know what it really takes to pull off something like this -- especially when a group depends largely on volunteers.

Thanks to everyone who makes it happen.

And we appreciate the quick cleanup.

Big events can leave a big mess. We are glad the parks are available for big events like the Columbia Cup. And we also appreciate that those same parks are quiet and clean for everyday enjoyment afterward.

It takes a lot of work to gear up for a big event and to clean up after it.

Thanks to all.