Keep the Can of Corn where it belongs
Saturday, January 12, 2013 7:44 PM
Those who read my column regularly - i.e. my wife, my parents, state prisoners, people too cheap to buy wrapping paper and those in need of bird cage liner - know Executive Editor Richard Whiting often chooses to write his Sunday column on the same topic as my Sunday piece.
It's happened on several occasions. I'll crank out a column, then late on a Friday, Whiting will hurry to my desk and say, "Well, we did it again! We wrote about the same thing!" (Yes, he speaks in exclamations, too.)
Of course, he always feigns innocence, claiming he had no clue what my column was about before he penned his own. This seems a little far-fetched, as I've been known to opine on some fairly obscure topics.
I honestly think I could file a Sunday column about a Venezuelan midget with three arms who has a fleet of hot dog vending trucks and spends his weekends working as an Eddie Murphy impersonator and Whiting would read it and come hustling over to my desk at 4 p.m. on a Friday and say, "Guess what! You'll never believe this but my column and your column ..."
That said, we're doing something a little bit different today.
You see, today we actually planned to write on the same topic, that being the annual County vs. City Food Drive.
Each year Greenwood County Councilwoman Edith Childs organizes a food drive that pits Greenwood County employees against City of Greenwood employees to see which organization can collect the most food for charity. The agencies who benefit from the drive are the Food Bank of Greenwood County, the Soup Kitchen and Greater Greenwood United Ministry.
The governmental entity that collects the most pounds of food for the three charities wins the coveted Can of Corn Trophy. This year's weigh-in will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 28 at the Greenwood Farmer's Market.
If you flip over to today's Viewpoint page and read Whiting's column, you'll see he has plainly made it known he is pulling for the City of Greenwood to win this year's food drive.
In doing so, Whiting has clearly hitched his wagon to the underdog, as the city has come up on the losing end of the County vs. City Food Drive every year for nearly a decade. The Can of Corn Trophy has taken up residence in the county's trophy case for so long they've actually started sending it a property tax bill and charging it a road fee.
So, my esteemed editor is openly rooting for the city to pull off the upset. He wants the city to be Buster Douglas to the county's Mike Tyson. As such, I've decided to take up the other side.
You read that right: I'm pulling for Greenwood County to continue its dominance against the City of Greenwood in the annual charity food drive.
I realize this is kind of like pulling for the Empire against the Rebel Alliance or pulling for the Miami Heat against, well, anybody.
But I've got my reasons, a couple of which I will now share with you.
THE COUNTY NEEDS A WIN RIGHT NOW - It's been a tough year on the county government side.
There have been investigations into indistrict and peculiar expenses, Freedom of Information Act dances, managerial changes, attorneys coming and going, longtime councilmen getting voted out of office, a clerk of court primary that seemed better suited for WWE Monday Night Raw and revelations that, several years ago, the county potentially violated its own ordinance in regard to moving money from the Lake Greenwood Trust Fund.
With all that said, 2013 is a new year. A time to resolve old messes and move forward in the right direction. I can't think of many better ways to do that than to collect and donate hundreds (thousands?) of pounds of food to local agencies to help feed those who are desperately in need.
THE MAYOR IS CHANNELING NICK SABAN - Last week, while being interviewed for a preview of this food drive, Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams vowed to lead the city to victory this year.
In fact, Adams even promised a "Nick Saban-like focus" in spearheading the city's efforts, a nod to the head coach of the University of Alabama's national championship football team.
First of all, considering he's a Vanderbilt fan, I'm having trouble buying into Adams' ability to conjure up Saban-like results in competition. I know Vandy football coach James Franklin is doing wonderful things in Nashville, but I don't think he's yet provided enough of a blueprint for Adams to have grasped onto any Saban-esque tactics.
Second, I think Adams has underestimated the verve and vigor with which new county manager Toby Chappell is approaching this food drive. While he wouldn't reveal his tactics, Chappell told me last week, with a confident grin, he has "sweetened the pot" in an effort to get county employees to donate to the food drive.
Mr. Mayor, you better "Anchor Down," because I think the county manager is coming out swinging on this one.
THE CHARITIES ARE THE REAL WINNERS - While the city and county (and Whiting and I) are having a little fun with this drive, it benefits a very worthy and serious cause.
There are so many in need in Greenwood. Those who have fallen on hard times. Those who really don't know where or when they'll get their next meal.
For those folks, the Soup Kitchen, the Food Bank and United Ministry - great agencies all - are here to help. But in order to help, they need your donations.
While my boss man is asking you to help by donating to the food drive through the city, I'm asking you to do so through the county.
So, sometime between now and Jan. 28, gather up some canned goods and take them to the county administration office at Park Plaza. Let's keep that Can of Corn Trophy in the county's trophy case, where it belongs.
In the process, we'll help make sure those who are less fortunate will not go hungry.
Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-5650; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.