Good news includes bringing back festival

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You could say that it’s back by popular demand. Via Colori in Elizabethtown lives.

The annual street festival will have a new sponsoring agency and will continue after a public outcry related to a decision to cancel the 2014 event.

New Beginnings Family Services, which provides therapeutic foster care for abused, abandoned and neglected children, has been awarded the festival’s licensing rights. It will take over for Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services, formerly known as the Advocacy and Support Center, which brought the concept to Elizabethtown in 2010.

Silverleaf severed its ties with the festival in January because of budgetary constraints. It made what the agency’s leadership considered the best decision it could.

But folks who enjoyed Via Colori streetside chalk drawings and the downtown weekend of fun spoke out. Some artists and abuse survivors who had an emotional connection to the event were troubled.

New Beginnings quickly stepped up and an agreement was reached.

The agency will bring a renewed passion for the festival and hopefully this entire series of events will lead to a better attended, more appreciated Via Colori, which will provide an outlet for creativity plus a gateway to effective fundraising.

PENNIES COUNT. Always remember first-graders can make a difference in this world and the pennies can add up to a world of difference in someone’s life.

Shandis Rose’s class at Radcliff Elementary School recently launched the Million Wishes for Sam campaign. Its goal is to collect 1 million pennies on behalf of 8-year-old Sam Adams, who has acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Students decorated coffee cans to be used to collect wishes in the form of pennies. The cans already are showing up in local businesses.

The students are demonstrating remarkable compassion for a classmate that most of them have not met. He’s a part of the class but his health prevents him from attending. A stuffed monkey provided by Kosair Children’s Hospital sits in Sam’s cubby holding his place.

It’s a remarkable vision and one that only costs a penny to participate.

Find more information about the Million Wishes for Sam campaign at www.facebook.com/teamsam10.

Join the first-graders in making this project a success.

CANNING THAT GOOD WILL. Speaking of students making an impact on others, a collection of musicians taking lessons from Terry Strange began a canned food collection drive based on a 5-year-old’s concern.

The “We Pick for Food” campaign was born out of what Stuart Owens observed along Interstate 65. His concern about a person offering to work for food has developed into a canned food drive that many of Strange’s students embraced.

Proceeds are being donated to the Warm Blessings soup kitchen in Elizabethtown.

At each lesson, one of the expectations is every student brings a can of food. Based on the number of students and average number of lessons each year, Strange expects students from The Music Studio to donate about 4,000 items this year.

It’s a heartwarming example of the time-honored belief that a child can lead. Compassion knows no age.