Dennis Miron is a buddy of mine, who shares with me love of good live music and of laughter. We don't see each other often as Dennis is an Escanaba resident, but when we talked recently, something he told me really struck a chord with me.
Dennis told me about his sons, Denham, 14, and Dayton, 10, with great pride. Justifibly so. Dayton's steer won grand champion honors at this past summer's Escanaba State Fair and Denham's sold well.
The brothers, who work together on their cattle, could have used the money they earned for, say, computer equipment or as Dalton considered, a dirt bike. But, inspired by a magazine story they read about a youth in Colorado who used his fair earnings to aid a worthy cause, the Miron brothers decided to turn a good portion of their money into help for some local charities.
Denham, left, and Dayton Miron.
The boys chose four charities: They have already donated $500 each to the Delta County Animal Shelter; the Wheelin' Sportsmen, a group which helps people with special needs to hunt; and the Gladstone St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.
Now they're donating to one more charity: The Wounded Warrior Fund which has helped a solider from their area, Bobby LaMarche, who was wounded in Iraq in 2007.
Now, I don't know much about raising cattle, but I realize it's a lot of hard work. In fact, I almost referred to their fair money as "winnings" but the proper term, in my estimation, should be "earnings."
And with the temptation of electronics, sporting and other items of great allure to teens and tweens, it would have been easy for Denham and Dalton to spend the dollars they brought home in many ways. No one would blame them.
Instead, these sweet kids decided to pay it forward, reaching out to the community in which they live.
The Miron brothers are an inspiration to other young people but you know what: They should be an inspiration to older folks as well. In a holiday season seemingly overrun with commercialization, a story of true charity is a wonderful balm for the soul.
And while it's difficult financially for many this Christmas season, I am hoping folks reading this column will be inspired to join in with the Mirons and contribute to the Wounded Warriors Fund as well.
Contributions can be mailed to Wounded Warrior Project, 230 W Monroe St. Suite 200, Chicago Il. 60606, or called in to 630-522-4774. The organization's website is woundedwarriorproject.org.
If you do donate, perhaps you could let me know so that two weeks from now, I can write a follow-up column to show the boys that their selflessness has sparked something good with others.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.