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October 3, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: As Brittany glows, a community grows

NEW CASTLE — Community.

It’s all about home.

Family.

Neighborhood.

Classroom.

School district.

Township.

County.

Thank you for the reminder, Brittany.

Community.

It’s all about doing life together.

Caring.

Transparency.

Encouragement.

Sharing laughter.

Breaking bread.

A hug for the hurting.

Thank you for your courage, Brittany.

Community.

It’s all about a terrific idea that spreads from one mind to others’ hearts.

A pencil.

Or pen.

A simple check in the box.

A spot on the homecoming court.

An announcement over the PA system.

Cheers, tears and applause.

Smartphones, digital cameras and lights.

A smile.

Oh, that smile.

Thank you for the unforgettable images, Brittany.

Community.

It’s all about connection.

E-mail.

Facebook.

Twitter.

“Likes.”

Shares.

Comments.

More likes.

More shares.

People from all over telling their friends they MUST read your story and watch your video.

Thank you for spreading a virus of love, Brittany.

Community.

It’s really pretty simple, isn’t it?

Coming together for a cause greater than ourselves.

Assuming a role in the process.

Encouraging others to join in.

Relishing the fruits of our efforts.

Then sharing the good news.

If time truly does fly, what, then, can we say about hope?

This we know already — it can’t be contained.

We just never imagined it would travel so far. We never thought a beautiful young lady from Shenango Township could grow a digital community around the globe, but that’s the power of a wonderful story and the Internet.

Lesson learned. And not soon forgotten.

Maybe it’s true. Maybe a great teacher really can affect eternity. Without the boundaries of a classroom, no one can tell where their influence stops.

Thank you for teaching us, Brittany.

Community.

It’s all about being grateful.

So, from all of us at the New Castle News — especially Kayleen Cubbal, Tiffany Wolfe and Joe Ligo — we want to thank the Chieze family for welcoming us into their home and sharing their hearts.

Thank you, Rocco Fiorilli, for being one of the coolest dudes on the planet.

Thank you, Shenango, for being the catalyst to an incredible homecoming celebration that isn’t over yet.

Thank you, students and faculty, for morphing a great idea into an inspirational message for all of us.

A message about true beauty.

About school spirit.

About selflessness.

About joy in the midst of difficult circumstances.

About you. In the end, it was all about you.

Thank you, Brittany.

It’s no secret that all elections promise hope. But yours actually delivered on that promise.

Long live the queen.

(Tim Kolodziej is executive editor at The News. For our coverage on Brittany Chieze at Shenango’s homecoming, CLICK HERE.)

 

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